[UK] Playfire, a social network for gamers, has secured $2.1m (£1.3m) of Series A funding. The news was first reported this weekend in the Sunday Times newspaper but, as is their usual form, with key details missing, including the full list of investors. What else do you expect from a newspaper that doesn’t even use Twitter properly?
The round was led by Atomico Ventures (founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis of Skype fame), in conjunction with Michael Birch (founder of Bebo), Brent Hoberman (co-founder of LastMinute.com), William Reeve and Alex Chesterman (co-founders of LOVEFiLM) and David Gardner (former COO of Electronic Arts and now CEO of Atari).
Playfire lets gamers track scores and rankings on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, as well as providing discussion forums and alerts to new content, such as news and videos, around the games available on both platforms. The site was set up in February 2008 by Kieran O’Neill, Seb Hayes and Ben Phillips. Twenty-two year old O’Neil, of course, is best known for his association with video sharing site HolyLemon, a web property he founded as a 15-year old student and later sold for $1.25m in 2007 at the age of nineteen.
The new funding which will be used by Playfire to expand its development team and accelerate growth follows a seed stage investment last year, which included backing from games veteran Chris Deering (former Chairman of Sony Europe) and James Booth (Founder of online advertising network Tangozebra).
A few other tidbits that we’ve learned about Playfire. The site claims 250,000 users, with 100,000 new members added last month alone. Both Jia Shen, co-founder of RockYou! and Paul Bragiel of Lefora have joined as company advisers, and interestingly, Michael Acton Smith was a seed investor in last year’s funding round.