Startup Lightfox Games Raises Seed Funding for Mobile “Hypercore” Games

By Thomas Price Monday, November 30, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, spending habits have changed drastically, especially in the realm of entertainment. Restrictions have caused entertainment options such as concerts, movies, traveling, and bars to be essentially quelled, and as a consequence, consumers have been changing their habits. As a result, gaming, and especially mobile gaming, has boomed in popularity in 2020. Already on an upward trajectory, the gaming market has found serious growth this year, and gaming startups have seen stronger funding from venture capital firms. This funding trend has trickled down now to Lightfox Games, which recently raised money to create this startup. So, what is Lightfox Games, and what can be expected from the startup with the new seed funding?

Lightfox Games and Their Actual Games

Founded in 2019, Lightfox Games is a company that focuses heavily on mobile gaming. Although the company is made up of only five employees, it is precisely these five employees that make the startup so unique. Lightfox Games was created by Ryan Hanft-Murphy, Jordan Arnold, Rex Downham, Tony Tewes, and Haseeb Malik. Each of these individuals, save for Tewes, were previously employees at the Seattle-based startup Z2, which was eventually acquired by mobile gaming giant King, for whom Tewes worked for. Along with their prior experience from Z2, the group of five also has worked with other major companies such as Zynga, Electronic Arts, and Disney.

Lightfox Games is going to focus the majority of its efforts on developing mobile games and has already created one called Super Battle League. The game is a three-on-three mobile fighting game where users can battle each other in real time while also upgrading their own character’s armor, weapons, and skills. The game also features different puzzles and boss battles as well and is currently available on iOS and Android in select countries.

Lightfox Games plans to continue developing more mobile games under the unique category of “hypercore” which essentially entails games for the hypercasual gamer but translates well to more avid gamers in skill and competitiveness. The startup hopes that Super Battle League walks that line and could be one of the first mobile-based games to really break through on mediums such as Twitch, causing a more competitive scene to emerge, even possibly an esports scene. Of course, this all can be made possible given the growing mobile gaming market and the startup’s own seed funding.

Seed Funding and Growing Mobile Gaming Market

Lightfox Games recently raised $3.2 million in seed funding to help grow and build the startup. The company also plans on hiring more employees to join the five-person team. Funding for the startup was led by March Gaming along with participation from Hiro Capital and 1UP Ventures. The money from March Gaming came from the company’s recent launch of a $60 million fund meant specifically for investment in different gaming startups such as Lightfox Games. The recent investment in Lightfox Games is part of a growing trend in 2020 for gaming startups as the industry as a whole has disproportionately grown during the year due at least in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, over the first nine months of 2020, the game industry has seen around $20.5 billion worth of acquisitions, investments, and IPOs as gameplay surged worldwide. This trend follows comfortably mobile gaming revenue in the United States, which has reached unprecedented heights in 2020. In fact, the second quarter saw US mobile gaming revenue reach an unbelievable $6 billion. This was followed by Q3 revenues nearly as high at around $5.8 billion. If these trends are to continue, considering the industry’s natural growth as a whole, Lightfox Games could certainly make a large impact as they continue to build.

Final Conclusions

Lightfox Games is tapping into a growing and extremely profitable market in mobile gaming. With a team of well experienced developers who are veterans in the industry as well as $3.2 million in seed funding, there are clear paths to success for the startup, especially considering the already released Super Battle League planning to open up to more countries soon. Mobile gaming is reaching new revenue heights, and Lightfox Games could certainly earn their own piece of that revenue in the near future.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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