Ojas Ventures co-invests in gaming startup Play140

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Bangalore: Bangalore-based Ojas Venture Partners have co-invested in the U.S.-based social gaming startup, Play140. The other investor is SOS Ventures of China. The amount of investment made by Ojas is still undisclosed.

Founded in 2010 by three entrepreneurs with 50 years of combined experience in the software and game markets: Shwan Broderick, Anfrea Shubert and Tom Monaghan, Play140 builds social games with words. The games are casual, quick-to-play and mass-market. Players interact with these games via text across myriad, disparate mediums: SMS, Twitter, web, IM, set-top boxes, smartphones, tablets and more.

Rajesh Srivathsa, Managing Partner, Ojas Venture Partners, said, "It is tough to differentiate in the current genre of Complex Flash based games. Zynga provided an environment for several companies who have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to build extremely complicated games. Games with bigger budgets and bigger production values are not going to be able to differentiate. Is the firm is not an already established winner in that market, it is considered to be the player among the worst type of 'hits business' game."

The success of Flash-based, casual-games has expanded the gaming segment in recent years driving nearly 100 million new gamers into the market. Play140 is taking a contrary position- driving towards text-based simple to play, social games playable on nearly any connected device and do not require heavy processing. The game platform is a suite of cloud-based technologies that integrate disparate textual platform and bridge them together in real time. The platform allows Play140 to corss-promote the games efficiently, leverage the community for user-created game content and they will release an API in 2011 to enable the third parties to create their own games on their platform.

Talking about the investment, Srivathsa says, "Play140 is developing simple to play games that can be played in under 140 characters across a wide medium of channels-Facebook, Twitter, SMS and IM. Text is a wonderful, magical least common denominator that they are using to build rich games, experiences and communities on top."

Ojas provides seed and early stage funding to companies operating in India. The size of the fund is $35 million with initial investments of $0.25 million to $1.5 million in its portfolio companies and to a maximum of $3 million. Recently, Ojas invested $0.67 million along with Inventus Capital Partners, in Bangalore-based Vizury Interactive in its first round of funding.

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