San Francisco-based Fuel (formerly Grantoo) has announced it has raised $3.5 million in funding to expand its platform for “connected experiences” in mobile games on iOS and Android devices. This funding comes from Middle East Venture Partners and Rising Tide Fund, and will be used to support Fuel’s quest to engage two billion mobile gamers through competitive and overall social mobile gaming experiences.
Fuel encourages mobile game publishers to create competition among their gamers in order to drive higher user engagement and longer user retention, as well as increased monetization. Its overall SDK gives companies the tools to add 1-on-1 multiplayer challenges and live events / tournaments to their games, while the company’s Propeller SDK allows developers to customize these game experiences for a “seamless” look and feel.
In September 2013, Fuel partnered with Miniclip to add tournaments to Rail Rush, Miniclip’s endless runner on iOS and Android. After this integration, Rail Rush’s in-game sessions increased by 26.5 percent, overall playtime doubled, and in-app purchases increased by five percent. Elsewhere, Spry Fox’s TripleTown has seen seven-day retention rates increase by 2.26 times, a 135 percent increase in number of sessions per game, a 16 percent increase in overall sessions, and an increase in daily active users of 4 percent.
“Only a handful of mobile games have capitalized on the true enormous potential offered by today’s smart phones – an always on, connected device,” said Mikhael Naayem, founder of Fuel, in a statement. “By unleashing players’ social and competitive nature, free-to-play publishers (F2P) can create a large segment of passionate gamers, who play more frequently, and play longer. Our vision is to enable developers to continuously delight their gamers through personalized experiences based on our deep insights into player behavior. I am very excited to be working with our top notch investors and team members to bring this to life.”
In addition to this funding, Fuel has added several new members to its team to further support its growth. Shrikant Latkar, former CMO at InMobi, has joined as Fuel’s chief revenue officer. Jeremy Nusser, former VP of development at Playspan (acquired by Visa), has come on as senior VP of business development, and Mike Upton, former producer at EA and SEGA, has joined as executive producer at Fuel.
More information on the Fuel platform is available on the company’s website.