Crime Pays: Red Robot Labs Snatches $8.5 Million From Benchmark

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A few weeks ago, we wrote about Life Is Crime, a new location-based mobile game. The premise is pretty awesome: it’s like Foursquare meets Grand Theft Auto. You go around (virtually) beating up friends for money. As it happens, the game has helped parent company Red Robot Labs score some loot of their own — an $8.5 million Series A.

Benchmark Capital is leading the round with current investors Shasta Ventures, Rick Thompson (co-founder of Playdom), and Chamath Palihapitiya (former Facebook exec) participating as well. Benchmark’s Mitch Lasky will be joining the board as a result.

Red Robot Labs launched Life Is Crime at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle and they note that the convention center where the show was held saw some 20,000 virtual crimes committed in the game during that weekend alone. That resulted in thousands of hurt criminals, millions in contraband trafficked, and tens of millions of dollars robbed or laundered. They tout these things in their press release, which is awesome. Clearly the game caught on quickly with its core demographic.

And all of that is just on Android. The iPhone version isn’t ready quite yet but should be out soon. And I can’t wait for that, so I too can get out there and kick some virtual ass.

The funding won’t go just towards this one game though, Red Robot Labs is also building out a whole location-based gaming platform. They hope to have three games done by the end of the year — and one of those will be built by a third-party.

You can find the Android version of Life Is Crime here.