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Game streaming start-up Playco lands $100m in Series A funding

Zynga co-founder, ex-DeNA director, Game Closure co-founder and senior producer raise money for browser-based approach

The game streaming market has a new entrant with significant funding, as Playco today announced itself to the world, along with its $100 million Series A funding round.

The funding round already puts Playco at a $1 billion valuation.

Playco is the latest endeavor from Zynga co-founder Justin Waldron, ex-DeNA director Takeshi Otsuka, Game Closure co-founder and CEO Michael Carter, and Game Closure senior producer Teddy Cross.

"Our mission is to bring the world closer together through play," Carter said.

"We think that games shouldn't be trapped inside installed apps or downloads. Instead, we believe that playing together should be as easy as messaging or talking together. Whether it's Parcheesi or an MMORPG, we believe there is a game for everyone and that how we play together is a crucial part of how humans socialize."

Playco says its browser-based streaming game engine is capable of handling and tracking billion of players, and will let the company partner with any platform that allows for instant play.

The start-up acquired technology to help it do this from Game Closure earlier this year.

Game Closure raised seed funding in 2018 to create an HTML5-based development environment to allow games to be played across Android, iOS, and Facebook.

Playco's lineup of investors does not appear to have overlap with those of Game Closure's seed round. The Playco Series A round was led by Josh Buckley and Sequoia Capital Global Equities, with additional participation from Sozo Ventures, Caffeinated Capital, KSK Angel Fund, Mistletoe Singapor, Digital Garage, Dreamers VC, Makers Fund, and more.

Playco will be a remote working company, with founders and executives already based in Seoul, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Co-founders Otsuka and Cross also released a joint statement on the funding round, saying, "There is a real opportunity here to remove every ounce of friction between two people playing together. We believe we can create the first game and gaming portfolio that the entire world plays.

"This scale has never before been undertaken; the industry's current understanding of a 'big' game is hundreds of millions of players, but we intend to be the first to create games that billions of people play together."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.