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KIXEYE Raises $20 Million to Expand Machine Learning Platform


Free-to-play game pioneer, KIXEYE, announces today the closing of a $20M round led by Icon Ventures and joined by Ridge Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. As part of this financing Jeremy Liew, Managing Director at Lightspeed Venture Partners, will return to the KIXEYE Board of Directors. The funds will bolster the capital and resources allocated to its in-house machine learning platform that optimizes marketing, monetization, and retention.

“I’ve seen many companies make the mistake of over-raising capital and crippling their operating agility. We’ve built a successful business with only $22M in funding six years ago versus others in our tier who have raised hundreds of millions of dollars,” explained Will Harbin, CEO of KIXEYE. “That said, this is another strategically targeted capital injection that will guide the next phase of growth for us.”

Founded in 2009, KIXEYE is a company that has thrived amidst platform shifts over the last several years, pioneering genres and creating successful games across web, Facebook and mobile platforms. It stands as one of a handful of studios capable of continually creating new and successful intellectual property, from Backyard Monsters to War Commander: Rogue Assault.

“I love the KIXEYE team. They deliver awesome game experiences while being state of the art in monetizing web traffic,” explained Joe Horowitz, managing partner of Icon Ventures. “As an investor and board member, I am especially intrigued by their application of machine learning to optimize the quality of their business model for the benefit of shareholders and gamers alike.”

KIXEYE is at the forward edge of using machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance the player experience and boost revenue. One key advancement is a machine-learning powered dynamic marketplace that adapts itself to a person’s playstyle and in-game progress, offering items that are more thoughtful and rewarding to their gameplay. More broadly, KIXEYE’s technology is tackling Experience Optimization - analyzing how large portions of people play each game, identifying common stumbling blocks that can cause frustration. Once identified, the development team addresses and suggests balance fixes, thereby creating a better playing experience for all users. The results are that their latest mobile title, War Commander: Rogue Assault, is retaining and monetizing players at a higher rate by a factor of two compared to previous games.

Mobile gaming is a growing industry and the most lucrative segment in video games according to the 2017 report from Newzoo. Specifically, it recently reached 43 percent of total consumer expenditures on video games, some $50.4B, up 23.3 percent year over year.

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Founded in 2009, KIXEYE is consistently redefining the intersection of fidelity and accessibility by creating innovative experiences for competitive gamers. KIXEYE is based in San Francisco with additional studios in Australia, Canada, and Vietnam. KIXEYE is responsible for popular titles like Backyard Monsters, Battle Pirates, War Commander, VEGA Conflict, and War Commander: Rogue Assault.


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