Wooga Nets $24 Million Investment, Starts Hiring Spree

Growing social game developer wooga announced a $24 million series B round of funding today led by Highland Capital Partners. Founder and CEO Jens Begemann says the money will go toward hiring two new employees per week until the company reaches a total headcount of 150 staff members.

According to our traffic tracking service, AppData, wooga ranks third among top social game developers both by monthly active users at 29.8 million and daily active users at 4.7 million. Three of its games rank in our top 20 social games by MAU with Diamond Dash sitting at number 10 just behind CrowdStar’s It Girl.

The developer got off to a quick start on Facebook in July of 2009 with Brain Buddies. At the time, it decided not to pursue any kind of in-game monetization or ad support. A year later, wooga did introduce monetization after going all-in on Facebook Credits. At that time, Begemann told us that the decision was based on a long-term growth strategy similar to Facebook’s where wooga raised venture capital to invest in growth rather than relying on monetizing as quickly as possible. In a follow-up interview, he elaborated on growth strategies through cross-game promotion after Facebook limited the viral channels available to social games.

The strategy seems to have paid off if we study the growth of one its most recent hits, Diamond Dash, which has seen a rapid rise to the top over the course of eight weeks between March and May of 2011. Even now after adding monetization features post-launch, the game still regularly makes the top five in our weekly top 20 list of fastest-growing games.

This second round of funding from Highland Capital Partners also includes  participation from Tenaya Capital and existing investors existing investors Balderton Capital and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures. Highland’s General Partner Fergal Mullen joins wooga’s Board of Directors as part of the round. Wooga’s series A round of funding closed in November of 2009 at $7.5 million.