Free-to-play mobile developer Cosmic Lounge has announced that they have closed a €4m seed funding round.
The studio, founded by former King, Seriously, EA and Rovio veterans, closed the funding round which was led by venture capital firm Transcend. They say that this will go towards further development of their in-house AI-enhanced Puzzle Engine technology, something they say is rapidly accelerating their development.
Cosmic Lounge's veterans include CEO Tomi Huttula who previously served with both EA and King as senior director of product management and VP of tech product respectively, while fellow co-founder Tommi Kiviniemi was also co-founder of Seriously. Peter Tokoi, the COO also previously worked with Seriously and was a QA coordinator for Rovio where Simo Rajamäki also worked. Mika Karkinen and Johannes Päivinen meanwhile both previously worked for Next Games.
In their blog post announcing the round, Transcend are quick to note that they have usually avoided firms engaging in the kind of f2p puzzle-game development they’re pursuing, and that this marks an unusual level of confidence in their mission statement.
General partner at Transcend Brett Krause affirmed these sentiments “We are profoundly impressed with Cosmic Lounge’s vision to fuse their deep puzzle game domain expertise with a proprietary AI-enhanced game engine.”
“We’re confident they have the tools to power original game design and content creation with rapid iteration, and that they will produce the next blockbuster puzzle game franchise.”
Seeding for success
Cosmic Lounge’s investment is good news for those looking to see examples of a strengthening VC atmosphere for mobile after a slow 2022 and start to 2023. As observed by Drake Star in their recent report, they predict that in the latter half of 2023 this investment activity will pick up significantly.
It also marks renewed confidence in the free-to-play puzzle game genre, something Transcend themselves note has been somewhat oversaturated. It indicates that, if a studio is able to innovate and present an original product they can still inspire investor confidence no matter the circumstances. The inclusion of AI to accelerate and not replace the use of creatives also shows a possible blueprint for how studios can ethically utilise this kind of technology in the future.