The developers of popular celeb-themed games including Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Nicki Minaj: The Empire, Glu Mobile, acquired Plain Vanilla Corp., and its mobile social trivia game QuizUp this week, according to an SEC filing.
The deal was valued at $7.5 million, including forgiven debt, according to sources familiar with the deal.
This is undoubtedly a disappointing fate for the investors who backed QuizUp, and kind of a steal for Glu Mobile.
The Iceland-based startup raised a hefty $22 million Series B round of venture funding led by Sequoia and Tencent in 2013. Altogether, the company had raised about $40 million in outside funding, according to Crunchbase, and had attracted tens of millions of users.
QuizUp, which is equal parts social network and mobile game, allows users to play trivia against friends, or to be matched in real time against an equally skilled and knowledgeable players, for a given subject.
QuizUp also let users create their own question and answer sets, which made it appealing to educators, fan communities, and brands looking for creative ways to promote their products.
Last year, the startup launched software that allowed corporations to use QuizUp to deliver corporate training to their employees. And it inked a deal with NBC for a 10-episode show based on and using QuizUp for audience-interactive elements of the show.
All that product development and maintenance costs money, of course. In January this year, publicly traded Glu Mobile backed Plain Vanilla with a promissory note that gave them the option to later purchase the startup and its QuizUp-related assets.
When NBC scuttled the QuizUp show in August, as Iceland-based Northstack reported at the time, it was expected that Glu would eventually buy QuizUp, provided the startup didn’t find other funds to keep its lights on, from profits or new backers.
Plain Vanilla CEO Thor Fridriksson declined to comment on terms of the deal with Glu Mobile, today. He only said, “I hope that Glu will take good care of my baby.”
Investors in QuizUp could not be immediately reached for comment.