Scoop: European Social Games Phenomenon wooga Raises $24 Million

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Exclusive - Wooga doesn’t get even half the attention that’s been given to its closest rivals in the social games space, namely Zynga and EA. But the European games developer is taking off big time, and it’s no surprise to see venture capitalists jump on the opportunity to invest before everyone starts taking notice.

The Berlin, Germany-based startup has raised a huge Series B round of financing, TechCrunch has learned – $24 million, to be more specific, bringing its total capital raised to a healthy $31.5 million. The round was led by Highland Capital Partners, with Tenaya Capital and previous backers Balderton Capital and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures participating.

Wooga has been on a roll lately, recently reaching 30 million people who play its games (which include Diamond Dash, Monster World, Happy Hospital and – wait for it – Bubble Island) per month. The extra capital will be used for the production of more Facebook games.

As you can see on AppData’s excellent leaderboards, the aforementioned number puts wooga (“world of gaming”) in the same league as Zynga and EA in terms of reach on the Facebook platform, and ahead of familiar names like Playdom, Crowdstar and Digital Chocolate.

Wooga was founded in 2009, starting out with just five employees and growing to 85 people today. The company has ambitions of hiring two more employees every week going forward, to reach 150 employees in total by the end of this year.

Fergan Mullen, who heads Highland’s investment activities in Europe, will join wooga’s board. A former director of NASDAQ-listed VistaPrint, he’s also on the boards of other fast-growing European technology companies such as Privalia, Spartoo and PhotoBox.