Well, New York-based TreSensa is having a busy morning. The cross-platform gaming startup revealed that it has locked up a cool $1 million in angel funding, and launched its new TreSensa game engine SDK into public beta.
TreSensa is the brainchild of Rakesh Raju and Tremor Video alums Rob Grossberg and Vincent Obermeier, who departed from the digital video company shortly after it acquired ScanScout in 2010. In short, the year-old company’s mission is to provide support and tools to developers who want to create HTML5 games for players sitting at desks or on the go.
The company’s focus on cross-platform gaming may seem worlds away from Tremor’s digital video roots (the pair was apparently “burned out on video”), but Grossberg tells me that the theories behind both projects aren’t that different. According to him, both companies aim to provide “content creators an in emerging arena” with the tools to make them successful. For Tremor, that meant (among other things) helping those creators monetize their videos with ads, but TreSensa game creators will be able to tap into the company’s distribution services and the ability to integrate features like asynchronous multiplayer (currently in private beta).
It’s up to each developer to decide how much they want to bank on TreSensa’s platform — they can dive in head-first and use TreSensa’s own game engine, but that’s hardly a requirement. Co-founder Obermeier was quick to note that developers who use other engines or SDKs will still be able to add TreSensa’s additional features into the mix.
“We’re making TreSensa component-sized,” he said. “Say you’re using Unity or Corona — you can do that and still use our backend services to implement things like multiplayer support.”
Of course, helping to monetize those games remains a big focus for TreSensa — the company’s first step is to implement support for current monetization models like offering paid virtual goods and digital currencies. From there, the pair peg advertising as playing a critical role because of the extensive reach that HTML5 games have — after all, they can be played by anyone with a smartphone or a reasonably up-to-date web browser.
It’s still early days for TreSensa, but the startup’s development platform has already garnered some attention from interested investors. As it turns out though, that angel fund raising process was relatively painless, mostly because Grossberg and Obermeier entered into it with a considerable network of contacts and resources.
“We’re not spring chickens here,” Grossberg quipped.
That said, it’s not like the two of them embarked on the process without any help. Grossberg cites New York startup incubator First Growth Venture Network as a crucial resource for the team as they worked to get TreSensa off the ground. Now, developers and media companies are showing signs of interest in TreSensa’s nascent offerings. YouTube content partner Mondo Media recently used TreSensa’s game engine SDK to create an HTML5 game based on the Happy Tree Friends franchise, and Grossberg mentioned to me that a “very large, New York-based media company” has expressed interest in TreSensa’s multiplayer functionality.