RockYou Raises $10M In Debt As It Shifts To Buying And Monetizing Existing Games

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RockYou, once known as a leading social games developer before hitting rough times and making multiple roundsof layoffs, has recently become focused on buying up existing web, social, and mobile games.

Today, the company is announcing that it has raised $10 million in debt from FastPay (a firm that makes loans to digital media companies) to continue funding those efforts.

RockYou’s current model involves finding games that are, as CEO Lisa Marino explained via email, “past their prime” but still have an audience. It then buys those games, keeps them running, and monetizes them through a mix of advertising (particularly video ads) and virtual goods. (In some cases, it works as an ad partner for publishers without buying the games outright.)

“No one is taking the bet we are right now,” Marino said. “The mentality today is that gaming is a hit-driven business, which I talked about in a blog post here. But what we’re doing is taking games past their prime and managing and monetizing them through their lifecycle for years to come.”

She added that RockYou doesn’t have “a single game in development.”

The company says it has made 12 acquisitions, including Words of Wonder, Gardens of Time and City Girl, from publishers such as Disney Interactive and 50 Cubes. As a result, it says it has a user base of 75 million players and has grown revenue 250 percent year-over-year.

Those acquisitions have mostly been funded by RockYou’s cashflow and debt from FastPay, Marino said. Apparently the company also raised “a very small round in March” (a regulatory filing says it was about $3.3 million), and Marino added that the company could raise another equity round later this year or in 2015: “It really depends on how we view the deal landscape.”

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