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With IPO rumours mounting, Gumi raises $49 million and hooks up with Sega for US invasion

Japanese publisher gains momentum
With IPO rumours mounting, Gumi raises $49 million and hooks up with Sega for US invasion
Date Type Companies Involved Size
Jul 4, 2014 investment GREE Gumi Inc. Sega World Innovation Lab $49m

Japanese mobile publisher Gumi is on a roll.

Its Brave Frontier game has been generating big revenues in the Japan, but equally importantly it's pushing successfully into markets ranging from Korea to Thailand and Taiwan.

It's also fired up in the west, with its Paris office leading on an investment in French developer Oh BiBi and a partnership with Dofus  publisher Ankama - just two recent announcements.

Filling the warchest

That's not the end of Gumi's ambition however as its latest $49 million (5 billion yen) funding round demonstrates.

The round was led by Japanese/US investor World Innovation Lab, and follows on the back of a 1 percent equity stake taken in the company by Japanese mobile ad network Adways.

JAFCO, B Dash Ventures, Shinsei Business Investment, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and DBJ Capital also participated.

Another company participating in the round is Sega; itself in rude financial health when it comes to its F2P division Sega Networks, which is currently generating around 50 percent of overall company profits.

Sega will now be working with Gumi to better launch and operate its games in the US market.

Will 2014 be the year?

In total, Gumi has now raised around $100 million in multiple funding rounds with CEO Hironao Kushimitsu said to be setting up the company for an IPO; although that rumour has been ongoing since 2012.

Japanese giant GREE also has a longterm 20 percent stake in the company, and was part of the $49 million round. 

[source: TechinAsia]