Istanbul in Turkey continues to prove itself as very fertile ground for casual gaming startups, which appear to be growing from small seedlings into sizable trees. In the latest development, Dream Games — a developer of mobile puzzle games — has raised $155 million in funding, a Series B that values the startup at $1 billion.
This is a massive leap for the company, which raised $50 million (the largest Series A in Turkey’s startup history) only 3.5 months ago. This latest round is being co-led by Index Ventures and Makers Fund, with Balderton Capital, IVP and Kora also participating. It also comes in the wake of a bigger set of deals in the world of gaming and developers in Turkey, the most prominent of which saw Zynga acquire Peak Games for $1.8 billion, amid other acquisitions. Dream is one of several startups in the region founded by alums from Peak.
The focus of the funding, and currently of Dream Games itself, is Royal Match, a puzzle game (iOS, Android) that launched globally in March.
The game has been a huge hit for Dream, with 6 million monthly active users and $20 million/month in revenues from in-game purchases (not ads), according to figures from AppAnnie. (A source close to the company confirmed the figures are accurate, but Dream did not disclose its revenue numbers or revenues directly.) This has catapulted it into the top-20 grossing games categories in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, the same echelon as much older and bigger titles like Candy Crush and Homescapes.
“The funding will be used for heavy user acquisition in every channel and every geography,” Soner Aydemir, co-founder and CEO, Dream Games, told me in an interview. He said Asia would be a focus in that, specifically Japan, South Korea and China. “Our main target is to scale the game so that it becomes one of the biggest games in the global market.”
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