Notable News: Bezos Invests in Kongregate

Normally I don’t get too excited about billionaires making investments in start-ups: I mean that’s what they do, but this news about Amazon founder Jeff Bezos investing $3 million in casual gaming company Kongregate, is worth noting. Is this a simple investment? Or is it sign of things to come from Amazon? I think it is the latter.

Kongregate is like YouTube of games, offering free, ad-supported Flash games and an online community. “This is a rainy-day recession fund,” CEO Jim Greer told Red Herring. The company still has more than $3 million of its previously raised cash. After this cash infusion, Kongregate has raised $9 million including $5 million from Greylock Partners. It was angel funded by Jeff Clavier (who apparently is too busy to call his friends) who introduced us to the company. We wrote about them, had them on The GigaOM show as well. Anyway the whole casual gaming sector is catching fire, and we are following it closely, and will be ramping up our coverage on the CGS.

The GigaOM Show #18: Putting The Cash in Casual Games

In this week’s episode of The GigaOM Show, we chat with Jim Greer, CEO and co-founder of Kongregate and Jameson Hsu, co-founder and CEO of Mochi Media about monetizing casual games. We discuss a wide range of topics, including the upcoming launch of Google’s game-related AdSense network. According to some estimates, casual gaming is the fast-growing segment that accounts for about 10% of the $30 billion global video game industry.
Download the show in quicktime, windows media or Xvid formats. There is an HD download available as well.

Related posts:
* Casual games worth $2.25 billion. But where are they going?
* How Casual Games can become money machines.
* Inside the YouTube of Games, Kongregate