QuizUp app maker nabs $22 M from Sequoia

December 26
1:49 PM 2013

Plain Vanilla Games recently launched Series B Round of financing and nabbed $22 million in funding in the process, TechCrunch said in its report. Sequoia Capital led the financing round, with the participation of all of Plain Vanilla's existing investors, which include Tencent, Greycroft Partners, IDG Ventures and BOLDstart Ventures. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington's CrunchFund and MESA+ also participated in the funding round.

In a phone interview, Plain Vanilla Chief Executive Officer Thor Fridriksson disclosed to the tech news site, "We didn't really need the money just before launch, but we thought of it as an insurance thing. In retrospect we probably shouldn't have raised then. The dilution is higher when taking money on a pre-launch valuation versus now."

The startup since then raised $27 million in total funding. Sequoia's significant contribution had initiated partner Roelof Botha to the startup's board of directors, the report said.

According to TechCrunch, the recent financing round of Plain Vanilla was timed right around the time of the launch of its game app QuizUp. The report explained that the startup wanted to ensure that it has a little insurance and extra money to market around the launch of its game app. However, the report said the extra marketing was no longer required.

QuizUp is now a popular app for the iPhone, which pits users in real-time or asynchronous trivia matchups. Users involved in such matchups, TechCrunch explained, will have them select up to 300 various topics and will allow them to challenge friends or complete strangers to a quick, six-trivia question round. The report said it has reached over 5 million in downloads since its launch.

Its popularity with iPhone users will most likely have Plain Vanilla shift its focus to create an Android app version, as Kantar Worldpanel ComTech research indicated that around 70 percent of smartphone users are on Android. However, Plain Vanilla said next on its goal will be a an iPad app release to cater to its tablet users. Fridriksson also said that the startup intends to localize the app that it can support multiple languages and adopt trivia that could be of interest to international users.

"Our most popular topics in each country are the ones that are connected to pop culture of that country. We're focusing then on sourcing local content for the things that those people are passionate about," Fridriksson said.

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