Is Pocket Gems Leveling Up With New Funding From Redpoint?

Facing more competition with casual, animal care-taking games saturating the market, is Pocket Gems taking on additional funding from firms like Redpoint Ventures?

The founding partner at Redpoint, Tom Dyal, listed a curious change to his biography, which mentioned Pocket Gems as an investment. Pocket Gems is the maker of several top-grossing iOS games like Tap Zoo and Tap Petshop and has taken $5 million in funding from Sequoia Capital to date. We reached out for comment from chief executive Daniel Terry, but he hasn’t replied yet.

The company faces an increasingly competitive and expensive market. Rivals like TinyCo, which is backed by $18 million from Andreessen Horowitz, are encroaching on Pocket Gems’ territory with similar games like Tiny Zoo Friends and Tiny Pets. Backflip Studios also hit one out of the park recently with DragonVale, another similar animal care-taking casual sim that has locked a place in the top-grossing five over the last few weeks.

As the market becomes more competitive and expensive to play in, we’re starting to see the first wave of mobile-social gaming companies take on later-stage rounds of funding. Storm8 was rumored by TechCrunch to be looking at funding with a $1 billion valuation from Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures. Rovio is also rumored to have closed a round that would value it at near or just over $1 billion.

It’s also becoming more expensive to hire or acquire talent as many companies like CrowdStar, TinyCo, LOLApps and more have launched funds to source new intellectual property from third-party developers. We’ve yet to see games come out of any of these programs though. In a sign of the heady times, we even spotted a TinyCo billboard on Highway 101 recently to lure job applicants.