AppOnboard has raised $20 million for its game creation tool that doesn’t require users to know how to program.
Raine Ventures led the round, which was the largest ever for Los Angeles-based AppOnBoard. Galaxy Venture Capital, Manta Ray, London Venture Partners, and Gaingels also participated in the round.
To date, AppOnboard has raised $54 million. The new capital will allow AppOnboard to scale its operations amid a creator boom in the gaming industry. Similar to the way platforms like TikTok and YouTube have democratized content creation and delivery for a new generation of entertainers, AppOnboard has seen an influx in new creators building and publishing games with its no-code gaming engine Buildbox.
Founder Jonathan Zweig started AppOnboard as a playable ads company, and it partnered with Google to help make it easier to play and download games on Google Play. In June 2019, AppOnboard got into game development with its acquisition of Buildbox, which lets people build games without requiring that they know how to program.
Buildbox lets anyone build and publish 2D and 3D games to a variety of platforms, including Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Steam, Windows (PC), and Apple TV, providing a new generation of game developers with the tools they need to vie with indie developers and triple-A studios.
Vegan Run, a mobile game developed by a 14-year-old creator on Buildbox, recently reached number two in the app store charts, momentarily topping triple-A hits like Roblox. In the last three months alone, nine games built on Buildbox have reached the Top 100 most popular games globally.
As the video game creator market increases in popularity, Buildbox is continuing to add thousands of new users per week. In the last three months, Buildbox’s global market share has grown by 550%, the company said.
The funding will be used to expand the company’s workforce across product, engineering, marketing, and other support functions necessary to sustain the needs of its growing creator community. AppOnboard will also double down on creator-focused initiatives, such as closing the user feedback loop, implementing user-centered design processes, and releasing more frequent product updates for the Buildbox community.
The latest round of funding follows the appointment of Mike Seavers, veteran gaming executive and former chief technology officer of Riot Games, as CEO earlier this year. Since joining, Seavers has tailored AppOnboard’s business strategies to be more user-centric and product-focused, introducing a creator-focused culture and approach to the company. Seavers has also joined the company’s board.
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