Corona Labs (formerly Ansca Mobile), the makers of the cross-platform mobile app development framework known as the Corona SDK, has raised an additional $2 million in funding from existing investor Merus Capital and new investor Western Technology Investment (WTI). The funding, a Series A-1 round, is a combination of both equity and venture debt, with WTI’s $1 million consisting of a $250,000 equity investment, and $750,000 in venture debt.
CEO Walter Luh tells us that even though his company has been cash-flow positive since early 2010, it now wants to hire more engineers and aggressively grow its two main offerings, one being its flagship product, the Corona SDK, and the other its newer Corona Enterprise platform, which Electronic Arts just adopted to build its latest Word Smack game.
Launched this August, Corona Enterprise is essentially a higher tier of Corona’s previous service, powered by the same engine and with the same workflow. The difference is that, on the enterprise version, developers can customize Corona’s engine to their own needs. “Instead of writing in pure scripts, you can add your own code – your Objective C code, your Java code – and do whatever you want with it,” explains Luh. He says that demand for the product has ranged from indie developers to larger studios and everyone in between. But until now, developers had to reach out to Corona directly to gain access to the Enterprise option. That will change with the new funding. “We want to make that much more automated in the same way you do the SDK,” Luh says. And that requires more engineers.
Specifically, Corona hopes to use the funding to double its headcount from the 11 it has today to include more core, back-end and framework engineers. In addition, the company is planning on rolling out additional, in-demand features and third-party integrations to its Corona SDK product, the first of which should arrive within the next month. As to what these features will be, Luh is staying mum, only saying that these are things that its developers have been asking for but that Corona didn’t have the sheer manpower to deliver until now.
To date, Corona has been used by more than 150,000 developers worldwide. And it has seen more than 20,000 games, apps and e-books built using its platform and published to iOS, Android, Nook, and Kindle Fire devices. Corona Labs previously raised $1 million in Series A funding from Merus Capital in late 2009.