Peltarion raises $20M for its AI platform

Peltarion, a Swedish startup founded by former execs from companies like Spotify, Skype, King, TrueCaller and Google, today announced that it has raised a $20 million Series A funding round led by Euclidean Capital, the family office for hedge fund billionaire James Simons. Previous investors FAM and EQT Ventures also participated, and this round brings […]

Peltarion, a Swedish startup founded by former execs from companies like Spotify, Skype, King, TrueCaller and Google, today announced that it has raised a $20 million Series A funding round led by Euclidean Capital, the family office for hedge fund billionaire James Simons. Previous investors FAM and EQT Ventures also participated, and this round brings the company’s total funding to $35 million.

There is obviously no dearth of AI platforms these days. Peltarion focus on what it calls “operational AI.” The service offers an end-to-end platform that lets you do everything from pre-processing your data to building models and putting them into production. All of this runs in the cloud and developers get access to a graphical user interface for building and testing their models. All of this, the company stresses, ensures that Peltarion’s users don’t have to deal with any of the low-level hardware or software and can instead focus on building their models.

“The speed at which AI systems can be built and deployed on the operational platform is orders of magnitude faster compared to the industry standard tools such as TensorFlow and require far fewer people and decreases the level of technical expertise needed,” Luka Crnkovic-Friis, of Peltarion’s CEO and co-founder, tells me. “All this results in more organizations being able to operationalize AI and focusing on solving problems and creating change.”

In a world where businesses have a plethora of choices, though, why use Peltarion over more established players? “Almost all of our clients are worried about lock-in to any single cloud provider,” Crnkovic-Friis said. “They tend to be fine using storage and compute as they are relatively similar across all the providers and moving to another cloud provider is possible. Equally, they are very wary of the higher-level services that AWS, GCP, Azure, and others provide as it means a complete lock-in.”

Peltarion, of course, argues that its platform doesn’t lock in its users and that other platforms take far more AI expertise to produce commercially viable AI services. The company rightly notes that, outside of the tech giants, most companies still struggle with how to use AI at scale. “They are stuck on the starting blocks, held back by two primary barriers to progress: immature patchwork technology and skills shortage,” said Crnkovic-Friis.

The company will use the new funding to expand its development team and its teams working with its community and partners. It’ll also use the new funding for growth initiatives in the U.S. and other markets.

The definitive Patreon reading guide

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or […]

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or those looking to make sense of the new media landscape.

Since we’ve probably read almost every word written on Patreon as part for our “under-the-hood” exploration in this EC-1, we’ve compiled a supplemental list of resources and readings we believe are particularly helpful for learning the Patreon story.

Reading time for this article is about 8 minutes. Feature illustration by Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch.

I. Background: The Story of Patreon

Pedals Music Video (Announcement Video) & Behind the Scenes Video | May 2013 | In May of 2013, Co-founder and CEO Jack Conte first announced the creation of Patreon alongside the release of a stunning music video that had smoke machines, light shows, and robots on beat machines. Conte also added a neat behind-the-scenes video showing just how much groundwork and hustle went into the production.

Jack Conte’s Patreon Explanation | May 2013 | In a separate video, Conte went into a bit more depth on the original site’s purpose, vision, and functionality.

Pomplamoose’s Jack Conte Creates A Subscription-Based Funding Site For Artists and Patreon Is a Recurring Tip Jar for Fans Who Love Everything You Make | May 2013 | TechCrunch’s and AllThingsD’s coverage of Patreon’s launch. In context, revisiting the pieces offers an interesting look back at the initial excitement around Patreon’s offering and the pervasiveness of the problem it was tackling.

Jack Conte Presentation @ XOXO Festival | September 2013 | At the XOXO Festival, a festival and conference for independent internet-based creators, Conte explains how his own experience as a YouTube artist led to the creation of Patreon.

1,000 True Fans | March 2008 | Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly’s widely read 1,000 True Fans essay is essentially the philosophical underpinning of Patreon. The principal idea here is that one can be a successful creator if they are able to consistently monetize even a small, dedicated fan base. Kelly walks through independent artist economics to explain how just one thousand true fans who will consistently support or purchase a creator’s work can be enough to make a comfortable living.

Digital Medici: How This Musician-Turned-Entrepreneur Plans To Save Creators From Advertising | February 2018 | In a 2018 profile, Kathleen Chaykowski contextualizes Conte’s motivation and aspirations for Patreon, outlining his path from childhood music fanatic to struggling artist to founder.

Inside Patreon, The Economic Engine of Internet Culture | August 2017 | Verge senior reporter Adi Robertson outlines in-depth how the Patreon model has changed from the creator perspective overtime, including creator anecdotes, success stories and concerns.

The definitive Patreon reading guide

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or […]

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or those looking to make sense of the new media landscape.

Since we’ve probably read almost every word written on Patreon as part for our “under-the-hood” exploration in this EC-1, we’ve compiled a supplemental list of resources and readings we believe are particularly helpful for learning the Patreon story.

Reading time for this article is about 8 minutes. Feature illustration by Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch.

I. Background: The Story of Patreon

Pedals Music Video (Announcement Video) & Behind the Scenes Video | May 2013 | In May of 2013, Co-founder and CEO Jack Conte first announced the creation of Patreon alongside the release of a stunning music video that had smoke machines, light shows, and robots on beat machines. Conte also added a neat behind-the-scenes video showing just how much groundwork and hustle went into the production.

Jack Conte’s Patreon Explanation | May 2013 | In a separate video, Conte went into a bit more depth on the original site’s purpose, vision, and functionality.

Pomplamoose’s Jack Conte Creates A Subscription-Based Funding Site For Artists and Patreon Is a Recurring Tip Jar for Fans Who Love Everything You Make | May 2013 | TechCrunch’s and AllThingsD’s coverage of Patreon’s launch. In context, revisiting the pieces offers an interesting look back at the initial excitement around Patreon’s offering and the pervasiveness of the problem it was tackling.

Jack Conte Presentation @ XOXO Festival | September 2013 | At the XOXO Festival, a festival and conference for independent internet-based creators, Conte explains how his own experience as a YouTube artist led to the creation of Patreon.

1,000 True Fans | March 2008 | Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly’s widely read 1,000 True Fans essay is essentially the philosophical underpinning of Patreon. The principal idea here is that one can be a successful creator if they are able to consistently monetize even a small, dedicated fan base. Kelly walks through independent artist economics to explain how just one thousand true fans who will consistently support or purchase a creator’s work can be enough to make a comfortable living.

Digital Medici: How This Musician-Turned-Entrepreneur Plans To Save Creators From Advertising | February 2018 | In a 2018 profile, Kathleen Chaykowski contextualizes Conte’s motivation and aspirations for Patreon, outlining his path from childhood music fanatic to struggling artist to founder.

Inside Patreon, The Economic Engine of Internet Culture | August 2017 | Verge senior reporter Adi Robertson outlines in-depth how the Patreon model has changed from the creator perspective overtime, including creator anecdotes, success stories and concerns.

The definitive Patreon reading guide

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or […]

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or those looking to make sense of the new media landscape.

Since we’ve probably read almost every word written on Patreon as part for our “under-the-hood” exploration in this EC-1, we’ve compiled a supplemental list of resources and readings we believe are particularly helpful for learning the Patreon story.

Reading time for this article is about 8 minutes. Feature illustration by Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch.

I. Background: The Story of Patreon

Pedals Music Video (Announcement Video) & Behind the Scenes Video | May 2013 | In May of 2013, Co-founder and CEO Jack Conte first announced the creation of Patreon alongside the release of a stunning music video that had smoke machines, light shows, and robots on beat machines. Conte also added a neat behind-the-scenes video showing just how much groundwork and hustle went into the production.

Jack Conte’s Patreon Explanation | May 2013 | In a separate video, Conte went into a bit more depth on the original site’s purpose, vision, and functionality.

Pomplamoose’s Jack Conte Creates A Subscription-Based Funding Site For Artists and Patreon Is a Recurring Tip Jar for Fans Who Love Everything You Make | May 2013 | TechCrunch’s and AllThingsD’s coverage of Patreon’s launch. In context, revisiting the pieces offers an interesting look back at the initial excitement around Patreon’s offering and the pervasiveness of the problem it was tackling.

Jack Conte Presentation @ XOXO Festival | September 2013 | At the XOXO Festival, a festival and conference for independent internet-based creators, Conte explains how his own experience as a YouTube artist led to the creation of Patreon.

1,000 True Fans | March 2008 | Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly’s widely read 1,000 True Fans essay is essentially the philosophical underpinning of Patreon. The principal idea here is that one can be a successful creator if they are able to consistently monetize even a small, dedicated fan base. Kelly walks through independent artist economics to explain how just one thousand true fans who will consistently support or purchase a creator’s work can be enough to make a comfortable living.

Digital Medici: How This Musician-Turned-Entrepreneur Plans To Save Creators From Advertising | February 2018 | In a 2018 profile, Kathleen Chaykowski contextualizes Conte’s motivation and aspirations for Patreon, outlining his path from childhood music fanatic to struggling artist to founder.

Inside Patreon, The Economic Engine of Internet Culture | August 2017 | Verge senior reporter Adi Robertson outlines in-depth how the Patreon model has changed from the creator perspective overtime, including creator anecdotes, success stories and concerns.

The definitive Patreon reading guide

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or […]

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or those looking to make sense of the new media landscape.

Since we’ve probably read almost every word written on Patreon as part for our “under-the-hood” exploration in this EC-1, we’ve compiled a supplemental list of resources and readings we believe are particularly helpful for learning the Patreon story.

Reading time for this article is about 8 minutes. Feature illustration by Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch.

I. Background: The Story of Patreon

Pedals Music Video (Announcement Video) & Behind the Scenes Video | May 2013 | In May of 2013, Co-founder and CEO Jack Conte first announced the creation of Patreon alongside the release of a stunning music video that had smoke machines, light shows, and robots on beat machines. Conte also added a neat behind-the-scenes video showing just how much groundwork and hustle went into the production.

Jack Conte’s Patreon Explanation | May 2013 | In a separate video, Conte went into a bit more depth on the original site’s purpose, vision, and functionality.

Pomplamoose’s Jack Conte Creates A Subscription-Based Funding Site For Artists and Patreon Is a Recurring Tip Jar for Fans Who Love Everything You Make | May 2013 | TechCrunch’s and AllThingsD’s coverage of Patreon’s launch. In context, revisiting the pieces offers an interesting look back at the initial excitement around Patreon’s offering and the pervasiveness of the problem it was tackling.

Jack Conte Presentation @ XOXO Festival | September 2013 | At the XOXO Festival, a festival and conference for independent internet-based creators, Conte explains how his own experience as a YouTube artist led to the creation of Patreon.

1,000 True Fans | March 2008 | Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly’s widely read 1,000 True Fans essay is essentially the philosophical underpinning of Patreon. The principal idea here is that one can be a successful creator if they are able to consistently monetize even a small, dedicated fan base. Kelly walks through independent artist economics to explain how just one thousand true fans who will consistently support or purchase a creator’s work can be enough to make a comfortable living.

Digital Medici: How This Musician-Turned-Entrepreneur Plans To Save Creators From Advertising | February 2018 | In a 2018 profile, Kathleen Chaykowski contextualizes Conte’s motivation and aspirations for Patreon, outlining his path from childhood music fanatic to struggling artist to founder.

Inside Patreon, The Economic Engine of Internet Culture | August 2017 | Verge senior reporter Adi Robertson outlines in-depth how the Patreon model has changed from the creator perspective overtime, including creator anecdotes, success stories and concerns.

The definitive Patreon reading guide

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or […]

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or those looking to make sense of the new media landscape.

Since we’ve probably read almost every word written on Patreon as part for our “under-the-hood” exploration in this EC-1, we’ve compiled a supplemental list of resources and readings we believe are particularly helpful for learning the Patreon story.

Reading time for this article is about 8 minutes. Feature illustration by Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch.

I. Background: The Story of Patreon

Pedals Music Video (Announcement Video) & Behind the Scenes Video | May 2013 | In May of 2013, Co-founder and CEO Jack Conte first announced the creation of Patreon alongside the release of a stunning music video that had smoke machines, light shows, and robots on beat machines. Conte also added a neat behind-the-scenes video showing just how much groundwork and hustle went into the production.

Jack Conte’s Patreon Explanation | May 2013 | In a separate video, Conte went into a bit more depth on the original site’s purpose, vision, and functionality.

Pomplamoose’s Jack Conte Creates A Subscription-Based Funding Site For Artists and Patreon Is a Recurring Tip Jar for Fans Who Love Everything You Make | May 2013 | TechCrunch’s and AllThingsD’s coverage of Patreon’s launch. In context, revisiting the pieces offers an interesting look back at the initial excitement around Patreon’s offering and the pervasiveness of the problem it was tackling.

Jack Conte Presentation @ XOXO Festival | September 2013 | At the XOXO Festival, a festival and conference for independent internet-based creators, Conte explains how his own experience as a YouTube artist led to the creation of Patreon.

1,000 True Fans | March 2008 | Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly’s widely read 1,000 True Fans essay is essentially the philosophical underpinning of Patreon. The principal idea here is that one can be a successful creator if they are able to consistently monetize even a small, dedicated fan base. Kelly walks through independent artist economics to explain how just one thousand true fans who will consistently support or purchase a creator’s work can be enough to make a comfortable living.

Digital Medici: How This Musician-Turned-Entrepreneur Plans To Save Creators From Advertising | February 2018 | In a 2018 profile, Kathleen Chaykowski contextualizes Conte’s motivation and aspirations for Patreon, outlining his path from childhood music fanatic to struggling artist to founder.

Inside Patreon, The Economic Engine of Internet Culture | August 2017 | Verge senior reporter Adi Robertson outlines in-depth how the Patreon model has changed from the creator perspective overtime, including creator anecdotes, success stories and concerns.

Chat app Line’s mobile payment service is getting its own Visa card

Brown, Cony and the gang are coming to a credit card near you in Japan. Line, the messaging app company behind the cute sticker characters, announced today that it is bringing its payment service to plastic through a tie-in with Visa. Line is Japan’s largest chat app with an estimated 50 million registered users. The cards […]

Brown, Cony and the gang are coming to a credit card near you in Japan. Line, the messaging app company behind the cute sticker characters, announced today that it is bringing its payment service to plastic through a tie-in with Visa.

Line is Japan’s largest chat app with an estimated 50 million registered users. The cards will be released later this year and they’ll allow Line Pay, the company’s digital wallet service, to stretch beyond its existing merchant base to allow users to pay at any retailer accepting Visa . In addition, the first year of use will see customers get 3 percent of their spending back in Line’s ‘Points’ virtual currency, which is used to buy stickers and other content.

The partnership is a step up from Line’s own payment cards, which were introduced in 2016 and supported by JCB.

It’s an interesting deal because mobile is generally seen as being the future form factor for payments. In China, for example, using cash or card to pay is considered antiquated — you’ll get glares from other patrons forced to wait while you complete your transaction — but digital payments face a struggle in most other markets.

WeChat and Alipay have become de facto in China, but retailers — and particularly smaller ones — don’t always have the awareness, confidence or resources to add support for Line or other digital wallets. Japan, where cash is still king, is perhaps most emblematic of that struggle. The government is making a sustained push towards cashless — particularly ahead of the 2020 Olympics — and Line, as the country’s dominant chat app, may help that along with this partnership.

Line wrapped up a deal with WeChat last November that allows users of the China-based chat app to make payment via Line Pay points of sale. Tencent’s WeChat and Alipay from Alibaba have spent recent years developing a system that lets Chinese tourists pay while they are overseas.

Chat app Line’s mobile payment service is getting its own Visa card

Brown, Cony and the gang are coming to a credit card near you in Japan. Line, the messaging app company behind the cute sticker characters, announced today that it is bringing its payment service to plastic through a tie-in with Visa. Line is Japan’s largest chat app with an estimated 50 million registered users. The cards […]

Brown, Cony and the gang are coming to a credit card near you in Japan. Line, the messaging app company behind the cute sticker characters, announced today that it is bringing its payment service to plastic through a tie-in with Visa.

Line is Japan’s largest chat app with an estimated 50 million registered users. The cards will be released later this year and they’ll allow Line Pay, the company’s digital wallet service, to stretch beyond its existing merchant base to allow users to pay at any retailer accepting Visa . In addition, the first year of use will see customers get 3 percent of their spending back in Line’s ‘Points’ virtual currency, which is used to buy stickers and other content.

The partnership is a step up from Line’s own payment cards, which were introduced in 2016 and supported by JCB.

It’s an interesting deal because mobile is generally seen as being the future form factor for payments. In China, for example, using cash or card to pay is considered antiquated — you’ll get glares from other patrons forced to wait while you complete your transaction — but digital payments face a struggle in most other markets.

WeChat and Alipay have become de facto in China, but retailers — and particularly smaller ones — don’t always have the awareness, confidence or resources to add support for Line or other digital wallets. Japan, where cash is still king, is perhaps most emblematic of that struggle. The government is making a sustained push towards cashless — particularly ahead of the 2020 Olympics — and Line, as the country’s dominant chat app, may help that along with this partnership.

Line wrapped up a deal with WeChat last November that allows users of the China-based chat app to make payment via Line Pay points of sale. Tencent’s WeChat and Alipay from Alibaba have spent recent years developing a system that lets Chinese tourists pay while they are overseas.

Instamojo raises $7M to help SMEs and ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ in India sell online

In India, startups are quietly building the tools and platforms to enable a different kind of gig economy: one that allows ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ to tap growing access to the internet to sell goods and services online. One such figure helping this burgeoning economy is Instamojo, a seven-year-old Bengaluru-based startup, has pulled in a $7 million Series B […]

In India, startups are quietly building the tools and platforms to enable a different kind of gig economy: one that allows ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ to tap growing access to the internet to sell goods and services online.

One such figure helping this burgeoning economy is Instamojo, a seven-year-old Bengaluru-based startup, has pulled in a $7 million Series B as it aims to grow its reach to over one million SMEs and micro-SMEs in India.

Founded in 2012 as a side-project, Instamojo offers independent merchants the means to operate a mobile-optimized storefront, collect payment and even take micro-loans. In an interview with TechCrunch, CEO and co-founder Sampad Swain said the company has some 650,000 merchants, and it is adding a further 1,200 daily. Most of them, he said, tend to earn less than $30,000 in annual sales; with around half sell physical products, such as e-commerce items, and the remainder using Instamojo to invoice for physical services or sell digital items such as courses.

The idea is to tap into those just testing the water of online commerce and give them the tools to ramp up their fledgling enterprise as India’s internet ‘population’ rises past 400 million people.

“A lot of micro-merchants in India are adopting [India’s payment service] UPI through [services like Paytm and PhonePe] but once they become a little more serious, at around 10-20 sales per month, we ask: ‘Can we give you lending, logistics, online store?'” explained Swain, who started the business with co-founders Akash Gehani and Harshad Sharma.

It’s a market that few banks or financial institutions care about because small loans and sales require enormous scale to be relevant to them. But Swain is bullish, and he believes the company will pass one million retailers this year.

The new funding is led by existing investor AnyPay — the Japanese fintech startup — with other returning backers Kalaari Capital, Beenext, and angel investor Rashmi Kwatra joining. Gunosy Capital, the VC arm of Japanese news app Gunosy, joined as a new investor. The deal takes Instamojo to around $9 million from investors to date.

Instamojo collects revenue through a two percent cut on sales, a fee on successful deliveries and commission on its micro-loan product, which essentially gives merchants advanced credit (same day or next-day) on their sales. The loans — which Swain describes as ‘sachet’ lending — are from Instamojo’s recently-established Mojo Capital unit which includes partnerships with 12 financial organizations. In just four months, Instamojo has dished out around $4 million in credit — through 50,000-odd dispersions — and Swain predicts it will scale to a $30 million run rate before the end of this year.

“Even I am surprised!” he said of the rapid uptake.

Instamojo founders [left to right] Akash Gehani, Sampad Swain and Harshad Sharma

Unlike Meesho, a YC-backed micro-entrepreneurship service in India that recently raised $50 million, Instamojo isn’t dominated by e-commerce to friends, family and neighbors. Swain said typical Instamojo sellers look to reach audiences outside of people they know, with platforms like YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp and others commonly used to reach audiences. Instamojo’s big selling point is ease of sale; that’s through a unique link that sellers share with customers for the checkout therein bypasses some of the challenges of online payment in India, which include somewhat cumbersome steps for card transactions.

“Sellers just create a link and share it with the customer,” Swain explained. “Essentially they click and check out with debit or credit card or other means. Over the years we realized that’s the best beginning for our business.”

That was Instamojo’s first launch, and since then it has built out online store options to manage inventory and product as well as the recent credit launch. Beyond growing its scale, Swain said the next big focus is on developing a community for merchants, where they can share tips, collaborate and more. He is also aiming to increase the tech team and raise Instamojo’s headcount from 120 right now to around 250 by 2020.

For now, Swain said the company isn’t seeking overseas opportunities, although he did admit that the business could expand to regions like Africa or Southeast Asia. But more immediately, he sees a huge opportunity in India, where believes there are 65 million SMEs, of which 25 million are “micro-merchants,” to tackle initially. The company is planning a Series C round for later this year to finance a deeper push.

Consolidation is coming to gaming, and Jam City raises $145 million to capitalize on it

A slew of banks are coming together to back a new roll-up strategy for the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming studio, Jam City and giving the company $145 million in new funding to carry that out. There’s no word on whether the new money is in equity or debt, but what is certain is that JPMorgan Chase […]

A slew of banks are coming together to back a new roll-up strategy for the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming studio, Jam City and giving the company $145 million in new funding to carry that out.

There’s no word on whether the new money is in equity or debt, but what is certain is that JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and syndicate partners including Silicon Valley Bank, SunTrust Bank and CIT Bank are all involved in the deal.

“In a global mobile games market that is consolidating, Jam City could not be more proud to be working with JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Silicon Valley Bank, SunTrust Bank and CIT Group to strategically support the financing of our acquisition and growth plans,” said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City. “This $145 million in new financing empowers Jam City to further our position as a global industry consolidator. As we grow our global business, we are honored to be working alongside such prestigious advisers who share Jam City’s mission of delivering joy to people everywhere through unique and deeply engaging mobile games.”

The new money comes after a few years of speculation on whether Jam City would be the next big Los Angeles-based startup company to file for an initial public offering. It also follows a new agreement with Disney to develop mobile games based on intellectual property coming from all corners of the mouse house — a sweet cache of intellectual property ranging from Pixar, to Marvel, to traditional Disney characters.

Jam City is coming off of a strong year of company growth. The Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery game which launched last year, became the company’s fastest title to hit $100 million in revenue

Add that to the company’s expansion into new markets with strategic acquisitions to fuel development and growth in Toronto and Bogota, and it’s clear that the company is looking to make more moves in 2019.

Jam City already holds intellectual property for a new game built on Disney’s Frozen 2, the company’s newly acquired Fox Studio assets like Family Guy and the Harry Potter property. Add that to its own Cookie Jam and Panda Pop properties and it seems like the company is ready to make moves.

Meanwhile, games are quickly becoming the go-to revenue driver for the entertainment industry. According to data collected by Newzoo, mobile games revenue reached a record $63.2 billion worldwide in 2018, representing roughly 47% of the total revenue for the gaming industry in the year. That number could reach $81.3 billion by 2020, the Newzoo data suggests.

Roughly half of the U.S. plays mobile games and they’re spending significant dollars on those games in app stores. App Annie suggests that roughly 75% of the money spent on app stores over the past decade has been spent on mobile games. And consumers are expected to spend roughly $129 billion in the app store over the next year. The data and analytics firm suggests that mobile gaming will capture some 60% of the overall gaming market in 2019 as well.

All of that bodes well for the industry as a whole, and points to why Jam City is looking to consolidate. And the company isn’t the only mobile games studio making moves.

The publicly traded games studio Zynga, which rose to fame initially on the back of Facebook’s gaming platform, recently expanded its European footprint with the late December acquisition of the Helsinki-based gaming studio, Small Giant Games.