News Column

Tap.Me Raises $3.2 Million in Venture Capital

March 14, 2012

Wailin Wong

Games

Tap.Me, a Chicago startup whose technology platform lets brands advertise within mobile games, said Monday it has raised $3.2 million in venture capital from investors led by Hyde Park Venture Partners.

Hyde Park Venture Partners is a Chicago-based venture capital fund that invests in early-stage technology companies in the Midwest, with a focus on its home city. Other investors in the latest round were I2A Fund, Western Technology Investment, Great Oaks Venture Capital, FireStarter Fund and Hyde Park Angels. I2A Fund had led a previous $1.4 million investment in Tap.Me last year, a round in which Hyde Park Angels also participated. I2A Fund, Hyde Park Angels and FireStarter Fund are local investors.

FireStarter Fund was launched last month by Matt Moog, chief executive of Chicago-based Viewpoints Network. It is a $5.7 million fund drawn from the contributions of more than 40 founders and CEOs of local digital technology companies. Troy Henikoff and Sam Yagan, the founders of Chicago-based incubator Excelerate Labs, co-manage the fund with Moog and Brian Hand, co-founder of Timelines. Tap.Me graduated from Excelerate's program in 2010.

Of the investors in Tap.Me's latest round, two of them are non-local: Western Technology Investment is based in Portola Valley, Calif. and Great Oaks Venture Capital hails from New York.

Tap.Me also announced three additions to its board of directors: Jeffrey Lapin, the former CEO of Atari; Excelerate Labs' Yagan; and Stuart Larkins, managing director at I2A.

"I've been around gaming for a long time and know the challenges of bringing brand advertisers into the game experience without being disruptive," Lapin said in a statement. "Tap.Me has taken a very innovative approach to solving this problem by making brands valuable to game play. I'm excited to bring my experience and perspective to the team as they continue to build their business."

Separately, Tap.Me said it has partnered with Edmonton-based game developer Fluik Entertainment to integrate Tap.Me's platform into Fluik's titles. This partnership will help Tap.Me's technology to reach nearly 25 million mobile gamers by June, the company said.

In October, Tap.Me hired Omnicom Media Group executive Matt Spiegel to be its CEO, taking the reins from company founder Joshua Hernandez, who is executive vice president and chairman of the board.

"Closing on the new round of funding and adding industry leaders to our investment ranks give us a lot of momentum," Spiegel said in a Monday statement.



Source: (c) 2012 the Chicago Tribune. Distributed by MCT Information Services


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