Samsung’s venture arm has contributed to a round of funding that adds $13 million to the total raised by BlueStacks, the virtualization startup that debuted its GamePop platform earlier this year to offer over-the-top mobile gaming for living room and TVs. Samsung’s investment backs the company’s vision of delivering GamePop as a white-label solution aimed at TV makers and cable providers. Other investors in BlueStacks include Andreessen Horowitz, Qualcomm, Intel, Redpoint and more.
This investment from Samsung seems like a good strategic fit, and indeed Samsung Ventures VP Ilseok Yoon said in a press release that a key reason for their investment was that the firm was impressed with how BlueStacks handled translating touch-based controls to TVs and remote control input devices. For its part, despite underwhelming reviews based on the consumer hardware devices the company originally planned on shipping, BlueStacks believes GamePop has a strong potential future, citing its strong buy-in from top-tier developers as a key advantage. The race is heating up, however, with Amazon’s Fire TV, Android TV and new hardware from Nvidia all aiming to take a stab at owning the home gaming market.
“There is no one bigger in both the Android and TV ecosystems than Samsung,” said BlueStacks CEO, Rosen Sharma, however, addressing the business value of their new partnership. “Their advice on how to navigate distribution channels has already been invaluable.”
BlueStacks says that other strategic partners have participated in the round alongside Samsung and its original investors, but it’s keeping mum about exactly who was involved for now. GamePop is also being distributed via deals with large cable companies, including a major partner to be announced soon.