Gaming Startup Unity Raises $181 Million
Unity Technologies has raised $181 million in new funding, the company said on Wednesday. The fundraising round values the company at approximately $1.5 billion. DFJ Growth, a late stage venture capital firm that has also invested in Twitter, Tumblr, and Tesla, led the round.
Unity makes a type of software known as a game engine, a suite of tools that help people create video games. It is one of the two leading engine companies, along with Epic Games, creator of the Unreal Engine. Historically, Unity has been the tool of choice for smaller game developers, while Epic’s clients have been larger publishers, although each company has been edging in on the other’s territory.
Almost one-third of the top 1,000 mobile grossing games have been built using Unity. That includes Pokémon Go, the only game that seems to matter at the moment.
Unity hopes to get people to use its game engines to build more than games. In the past year, it has built tools for people who are making animated features and other creations in virtual and augmented reality. Much of the company’s new spending will go to building products for these new technologies, said John Riccitiello, the company’s chief executive officer. “My view is that the market for AR and VR will one day swallow the Internet,” he said.
The round dwarfs the company’s previous fundraising, which totaled $25.5 million, $7.5 million of which was used to buy equity from existing founders. Other investors in this round include China Investment Corporation, a sovereign wealth fund that invests the country's foreign exchange reserves; FreeS Fund; Thrive Capital; Max Levchin; and WestSummit, an existing investor. Sequoia Capital, another previous investor, didn't participate in this round. Barry Schuler, a partner at DFJ Growth, is joining the board. Bloomberg News initially reported that Unity was raising the round in March.