LA-Based Mobile Gaming Startup Carbonated Raises $8.5M
Francesca Billington is a dot.LA editorial intern. She's previously reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. Before joining dot.LA, she was a communications fellow at an environmental science research center in Sri Lanka. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.
Carbonated, Inc., an El Segundo-based mobile gaming studio, announced Friday it raised $8.5 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz, Golden Ventures and Bitkraft Esports Ventures Management.
Founded in 2015, the company develops competitive multiplayer games for cell phones using AI and a live-ops platform they've built called "Carbyne." The technology, its CEO said, makes mobile the gaming experience easier — even when using one hand.
"The challenge historically has been most hardcore games aren't natively designed for mobile (i.e., lots of buttons and virtual d-pads)," Carbonated co-founder and CEO Travis Boatman wrote on Medium. Before creating Carbonated, he and co-founder Lloyd Tulles worked on mobile games including Zynga Poker, Sims Free Play and Simpsons Tapped Out.
"The reason we started the company was that as folks with busy lives and living rooms, we missed playing hardcore competitive games on console and PC," Boatman wrote. "We realized pretty quickly that we're not the only ones and there's a huge underserved market which continues to grow as younger core gamers age up and enter the workforce, like we did."
Boatman said the company is developing mobile technology to target this demographic. They've been working closely with Amazon Game Tech since demoing pieces of Carbyne at Amazon's Game Developers Conference booth in 2019, he said.
The startup has yet to announce a release date for its first project, Madworld, a combat game set in a dystopian world.
Other angel investors and advisors of this recent funding round include Mark Pincus, Kent Wakeford, Shanti Bergel and Chris Ye.
"Our partner criteria has always been more than just purely financial," Boatman wrote. "We look for people with deep industry experience who are willing to roll up their sleeves and dig in. We're thrilled to have partners like that around the table who believe in our team and mission."
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble — accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.
It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.
Then I worried. As a reporter who has previously covered election security for years, I went on a mini-quest trying to understand how a small mistake can have larger repercussions.
As Los Angeles County's 5.6 million registered voters all receive ballots at home for the first time, I knew my experience could not be unique. But I wondered, would my vote count? Or would my entire ballot now be discarded?
My distractingly sweet dog, Seamus.
Photo by Tami Abdollah
Fresh off of closing a $50 million round that valued the company at $300 million, Triller – headquartered in L.A. and with offices in New York, London and Paris – is now seeking $250 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion, according to executive chairman Bobby Sarnevesht. The short-form, user-generated video sharing app's momentum has picked up lately thanks to increased usage during the pandemic and the troubles of TikTok.
Triller executive chairman Bobby Sarnevesht.
Pegasus Tech Ventures chief executive Anis UzzamanAnis Uzzaman
- The LA Dodgers Get Into Food Delivery - dot.LA ›
- Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor, Reels - dot.LA ›