IFB: Global Social Game Publisher 6 Waves Raises $17.5 Million

Hong Kong-based 6 waves has been quietly building an empire of Facebook applications and games, and now it has just raised a $17.5 million round of funding from Insight Venture Partners, marking the latest in a growing string of large investments in social gaming on the Facebook Platform.  6 waves intends to continue expansion not just as a developer but as a full-on publisher, offering distribution and monetization services to social game developers around the world.

The company, founded by former Yahoo employees, is now one of the largest developers on Facebook, with more than 141 applications, more than 44 million monthly active users and more than 9 million daily active users, according to AppData. A year ago, it had more than 60 applications using and 22 million monthly active users; at that point, it had gotten big by creating and launching templatized apps based on what had gotten popular on Facebook. It created a mafia role-playing game called Gangster Wars, for example, then launched versions in ChineseSpanishGermanFrench,Turkish, and Italian. Using its far-flung network of in-house apps, the company has spent the past year building its business around helping other apps.

What exactly does 6 Waves do? Increasingly, it is cross-promoting clients’ games by running what is essentially a cross-promotional ad network across its titles. Most large game developers have been increasingly using cross promotion to help grow their own portfolio of apps; although Zynga, SGN and others had launched similar services in 2008, they have since focused on their own games.

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