Sequoia Capital Invests in Unity
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - October 26, 2009
Unity Technologies the leading provider of the multi-platform game development platform for Web, PC, Mac, Wii and iPhone today announced that it has secured Series A financing of $5.5 million. The investment round was led by Sequoia Capital, the venture investors behind well-known technology brands such as Apple, Electronic Arts, Google and Nvidia. The financing round also included David Gardner, the CEO of Atari and Diane Greene, founder and former CEO of VMware. Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital, and Greene will be joining the board of directors.
Unity is a professional solution that combines a full development platform with a 3D game engine in an integrated software package that enables high performance 3D interactive content including console quality browser games, iPhone and Nintendo Wii games. The Unity platform is currently used in world class games such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online by Electronic Arts, the Quest for R2D2 by LEGO and FusionFall by Cartoon Networks. Earlier this year, Unity for iPhone was released and to date, more than 325 games are using the Unity engine to power their iPhone games, including Zombieville USA, one of the top ten iPhone games measured by units sold.
Sequoia Capital's investment underscores the significant business opportunity in providing the best platform for the development of interactive content. Analyst consensus is that entertainment value will drive sales even in this tough economy. According to IDC, worldwide revenue representing retail value of shipments of videogame consoles, dedicated handheld gaming devices, and packaged software for consoles and handhelds was up 15 percent in 2008 year-over-year. IDC anticipates continued growth of 14.1 percent in 2009 for another record year.
There is a rapid growth of available interactive content that is further fueled by new online sites and technologies. While there is fierce competition among virtual content providers to get a share of the users' wallets, not all content is created equal and quality becomes one of the key differentiators. Unity Technologies provides the best suite of tools to develop world class content on various platforms without the traditional development pain.
"We are very excited to be involved with Unity Technologies at a time when the demand for interactive content continues to grow exponentially," said Botha. "We are seeing interactive content everywhere from game consoles to online virtual worlds and social networking websites. Unity Technologies is pioneering breakthrough products to allow developers to best respond to this demand. They are well positioned to become the standard for high quality content development."
When I first saw the quality of games which could be produced with the Unity engine in such a short development time and in a web browser, I was blown away! Pardon the pun, but it is a game changer and the Unity technology can greatly enhance the quality of browser visualization for many content providers!” said David Gardner, Atari CEO and Unity Technologies investor. “Then I met the people behind the technology and that is what turned me from a product fan to a company fan and investor. I believe in the passion and capability of the team, the straightforward business model and long term potential.”
Unity Technologies' management team is led by CEO David Helgason, who co-founded the company with Chief Creative Officer Nicholas Francis and Chief Technology Officer Joachim Ante.
"We are very pleased with the market recognition and adoption of our products and technology," said Helgason. "It is particularly gratifying to see that our offering can take the pain out of development for industry powerhouses such as Electronic Arts as well as individuals and small development studios.”
One of the keys to delivering interactive entertainment experiences to a wider group of players is reaching them on what platform they have, where they have it, when they want it,” said Richard Hilleman, Chief Creative Officer at Electronic Arts and Unity Technologies customer. This ’Ubiquitous Gaming’, is a key new audience we see emerging, and Unity is one of the tools posed to help deliver it.”
What is Unique About Unity Technologies?
Unity Technologies is committed exclusively to the development community as its only customer and its highest priority. The company is focused on providing the best technology and products to democratize interactive content development.
Unlike traditional online content development tools, the Unity suite enables high performance 3D interactive content viewable and playable in an internet browser - quality content can now be accessed by any internet user.
The Unity suite also allows developers to easily tap not only in the online application market but also the fast growing iPhone and Wii application markets.
And all of this power is available to all: Unity empowers development teams of all sizes, including individuals, to create amazing content with their imagination as the only limit.
Join Unity at the Unite conference in San Francisco October 27-30, 2009
This year, the Unite conference features a keynote by Hilleman and a special free to attend 1-day boot camp for Flash users to learn about transitioning to Unity in addition to a packed program of tutorials, technical sessions and hands on lab time.
Following Unity tradition Unite has proven to be an event for making new business contacts, showing projects, making friends, learning how to do stuff bigger and better.
Unite takes place on October 27-30, 2009 at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California. For more information about Unite and to register visit - https://unity3d.com/unite/
About Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital provides venture capital funding to founders of startups who want to turn business ideas into enduring companies. As the "Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs", Sequoia Capital's Partners have worked with innovators such as Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bob Swanson of Linear Technology, Sandy Lerner and Len Bozack of Cisco Systems, Dan Warmenhoven of NetApp, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, Jen-Hsun Huang of NVIDIA, Michael Marks of Flextronics, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen of YouTube, Dominic Orr and Keerti Melkote of Aruba Wireless Networks and Jonathan Kaplan of Pure Digital. To learn more about Sequoia Capital visit www.sequoiacap.com
About David Gardner
David Gardner is the CEO of Atari. He started his career programming PDP-11s in 1978 and selling Apple II computers in 1980 then joining Electronic Arts in 1983 as one of the first dozen employees. Gardner grew Electronic Arts in Europe from a handful of people in the UK to gross revenue of approximately $1 billion dollars with more than 1,000 employees operating in 14 countries. In Addition, Gardner was also instrumental in making several acquisitions of games publishers in Europe and integrating them into Electronic Arts.
Gardner was promoted to Senior Vice President of International Publishing, a post which was based in the US, where he continued to expand his international responsibilities, with a focus on Asia. Shortly, thereafter, he was appointed to Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of Worldwide Studios. During this period, he helped lead the reorganization of the Studio business and expanded Electronic Art’s presence in the key Asian markets of Korea and China. Mr. Gardner left EA in August of 2007 to return to live in Europe with his family. He was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) on the Queen’s Birthday in June 2007.
About Diane Greene
Diane Greene was the Founder, President and CEO of VMware, Inc. Under Diane's leadership, VMware created the market for mainstream virtualization and the resulting virtualization software industry. Greene has held technical leadership positions at Silicon Graphics, Sybase and Tandem and was CEO of VXtreme. Greene serves on the board of Intuit and is a member of the MIT Corporation.