On the heels of Zynga’s $150 million investment from Japanese media firm Softbank Capital, Japanese gaming company DeNA has announced a $27.5 million fund to make investments in the social gaming community. DeNA holds an 83.3 percent stake in the new fund, which is called Incubate Fund No. 1 Limited Partnership. Other investors include a number of private Japan-based investors.
DeNA says the main objective of the fund is to find and invest in companies that merge social media with game development. The fund will seek to invest in ventures that are at the seed level or higher stages. DeNA will also invest in game developers that can be included in their mobile gaming platform, Mobage-Town. A few months ago, DeNA also announced a strategic partnership with Yahoo Japan with plans to launch a PC-based social gaming platform, called Yahoo Mobage, later this year.
While the new vehicle will surely make investments in Japan, the fund could be a way for DeNA to establish more of a presence in the U.S. gaming market as well. The company owns an 20 percent equity stake in gaming company Aurora Feint and is getting serious about expanding into the U.S. DeNA plans to launch a social gaming platform in a number of English-speaking countries, and develop games for Facebook and other social networks. And DeNa just launched a global mini-gaming social network for the iPhone.
DeNA is seeing record revenue and impressive profits from its games in Japan, so a global expansion could make the company more of a global gaming giant.