Next Games, a free-to-play Helsinki-based startup founded last year by former employees of Rovio, Supercell and Disney, has secured a $6 million Series A funding round — with most of the money winging in to Finland from the U.S. and Asia.
The round was co-led by IDG Ventures and the company’s original investor, Jari Ovaskainen – also an early investor in Supercell. Lowercase Capital also participated in the round. Other investors include Asia based IDG Capital, AMC Networks Ventures, and York Ventures — a recently established early-stage VC firm backed the by the Gores brothers, Alec, Tom and Sam, and managed by digital media entrepreneur Peter Levin.
Next Games is developing a mobile games based on AMC’s The Walking Dead zombie TV drama franchise — hence AMC Networks Ventures involvement in the funding round. The game is due to launch in concert with season 5 of The Walking Dead TV series, and will have a global release. The studio is also working on a second unnamed mobile title which is also presumably being factored into this funding round by its investors.
“Our funding was made possible by the pioneering work by established Scandinavian game development studios,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO of Next Games, in a statement flagging up the Finnish games hub angle. “It is a testament to the talent in the Nordic region where many of the most successful games in recent years have been created.”
“The majority of our private investment is rooted in the United States and Asia, the world’s leading mobile app markets. I’m confident this diversity will lead to compelling games with broad global appeal and unique opportunities for partnerships, such as the one we currently have with AMC,” added Huuhtanen.
Commenting on the funding round in a supporting statement, investor Jari Ovaskainen added: “I’m thrilled to see a Finnish game studio with such talent and vision hit the runway with this dynamic range of global investors.”