Crowdpark Bets on Forecasting Algorithm for Facebook Game, Scores $6M Round for Mobile Development
Berlin-based social betting game developer Crowdpark has raised a $6 million second round of investment led by Europe’s Target Partners with participation from previous investor Earlybird Venture Capital. This brings the developer’s total funding to $8 million.
Crowdpark made some ink earlier this year with Bet Tycoon (formerly titled “Crowdpark – Betting Game”), consistently landing in our top 20 emerging Facebook games category toward the beginning of the summer. The game allows players to place bets of virtual currency on a range of topics in popular culture (e.g. the outcome of sports games) or on customized private topics (e.g. “Is Jane from accounting dating John from the mail room?”). Players pay in Facebook Credits to receive a pool of virtual currency, which is then placed on bets. Players receive virtual currency whenever they win a bet; but per Facebook policy and many online gambling laws in various countries, this cannot be converted back into Facebook Credits.
As the actual process of the game isn’t very visual, Crowdpark included this infographic with the press release announcing the funding to illustrate the process:
Over the next couple of weeks and months, Crowdpark plans to update Bet Tycoon with content that makes it feel more like a traditional Facebook game — such as a player progression system and a storyline where the player is encouraged to become the ultimate betting tycoon.
Where Bet Tycoon really gets interesting is in the dynamics of bets in real time. Using Crowdpark’s forecasting algorithm, the game shifts the winnings and odds of a bet depending on how the actual event being bet on plays out. At any point during a football game, for example, a player could cash out before losing a bet completely to recoup some of their virtual currency.
It’s this piece of technology that investor Target Partners found especially compelling. Target partner Waldemar Jantz tells us that the company had never before invested in a social game — only in technology The combination of social game and betting (without actual gambling) was also a factor that convinced the firm to invest in Crowdpark. Earlybird Venture Capital is best known in the social games industry for backing Peak Games, a Facebook game publisher-developer that has the lead on Turkish, Middle Eastern and North African markets.
Going forward, Crowdpark’s Ingo Hinterding says the new round of funding will go toward hiring on staff and expanding into other platforms. The developer recently opened an office in San Francisco and plans to release a new game for mobile platforms centered on sports betting in the next three months. At some point after that, Crowdpark hopes to release a third product that leverages dual-screen players that like to watch an event on one screen (say, a TV) while monitoring their bets on another (like an iPad). Hinterding also says Google+ may be a possible platform for the developer, “once we’ve seen the numbers.”
Crowdpark is also launching a Social Betting Index on its own site to show the world what people are betting on. According to Hinterding, this information cannot yet be broken out by region or demographic, but this could be a feature added to the index at a later date.
According to our traffic tracking service, AppData, Bet Tycoon currently enjoys 480,000 monthly active users and 20,000 daily active users.