No one was surprised to hear that arch-rival RockYou would soon close a big round of their own. And we have not been dissapointed. Today RockYou is announcing a $35 million Series C round, led by DCM. Previous investors include Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, and First Round Capital—none of which are mentioned as participating in the current round. The company had raised just $16.5 million over two previous rounds, bringing their total to $51.5 million.
RockYou is the second-most popular creator of applications on Facebook (after Slide), and says that its widgets are seen by 87.5 million people a month across the Web (compared to Slide’s 63.7 million). The company also offers OpenSocial applications that have been installed 10 million times. RockYou sells social-networking ads against the audience for its widgets. At 2.7 billion pageviews a month, that’s a lot of advertising inventory.
Now it just has to figure out how to get more people to click on them.
The stress between these two similar startups to compete is brutal. Sarah Lacy explained in her book how when either company would release a new feature or application, the other would race to duplicate it within hours:
This has all been building to a nasty war between Slide and RockYou, with each maintaining it is larger, each ripping off the other’s products. Having an enemy has helped focus Slide, and for now, it beats RockYou on every count.