GREE, Yahoo Put $2M Into GxYz, A New Joint Venture To Build Social Games

GREE, a Tokyo-based mobile gaming company worth $2.8 billion, is deepening its partnership with Yahoo! Japan through the creation of a joint venture that will build social games for smartphones.

The new venture will have about 200 million yen or $2.2 million in funding and will be named GxYz.

The point of the new company is to marry GREE’s strength in building games with Yahoo! Japan’s reach. Yahoo! Japan is one of the most highly trafficked portals in Japan and Yahoo’s 35 percent stake in the company put its value at around $6.8 billion, according to the company’s last quarterly filing with the SEC.

The creation of GxYz deepens an earlier partnership from November of last year, when both companies agreed to develop some sort of entertainment partnership. That deal paved the way for GREE’s social games to get traffic from Yahoo! Japan’s mobile sites.

The company’s board will have three directors from GREE and two from Yahoo! Japan. It’s being led by Tomoyuki Isaka, who has been a senior manager of social game development for GREE.