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CrowdStar nets $23 million funding

Headcount to double as social games developer hints at acquisitions

Social games company CrowdStar has announced a new $23 million funding deal, led by Intel Capital and Time Warner Investments - with additional participation from Chinese games publisher The9 and NVInvestments.

This is the first ever round of institutional funding for The Happy Aquarium and Happy Pets developer, which had previously grown purely using operating profit.

The company will use the new funding to add around a hundred employees, particularly game developers, server developers, artists, producers, business analysts and content managers.

CrowdStar intends to grow the company's business on Facebook, as well as on mobile platforms and internationally. To do so it has hinted that it may be looking to acquire other developers.

"We plan to invest broadly across all areas of our business, and particularly to add more extraordinary talent into the company," said Peter Relan, co-founder, chairman and CEO of CrowdStar.

"We have long been impressed with CrowdStar's track record of success in the social games space and their analytical, data-driven approach to building a fast-growing games business," said Rachel Lam, senior vice president and group managing director of Time Warner Investments.

"Time Warner's unique IP franchises and extensive media resources coupled with a social games leader like CrowdStar has the potential to truly impact the way consumers engage in social gaming."

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