Pearl Research Publishes June 2011 China Technology Update

Pearl Research's monthly China report updates digital entertainment, technology, Internet and consumer trends in China. Companies covered include Tencent, Netease, Shanda, Sina, Sohu, Apple, among others. Please contact us for subscription options and a sample. The update also includes metrics for top online games in China, along with an update on technology trends.

Gaming Company Row Sham Bow Raises $3 Million

Row Sham Bow, Inc., a new game development studio creating games for social networks, announced it has raised $3 million in funding from early-stage venture capital firm Intersouth Partners.

The company is founded by President & CEO Philip Holt and Chief Technology Officer Nick Gonzalez.  Philip Holt was previously Vice President and Studio General Manager of Electronic Arts (EA) Tiburon. Before joining EA he served as Senior Vice President of Product Development for THQ.

Social Gaming Startup Funzio Lands $20 Million

Funzio, developer of games for Facebook and mobile, announced that it secured $20 million in a Series A financing round led by IDG Ventures in the US and IDG Capital Partners in China. Phil Sanderson, IDG Ventures Managing Director, will join the board. Rick Thompson, Playdom Co-Founder and Former Chairman of the Playdom Board, also participated in this round and serves as Chairman of Funzio's Board.

Tencent Revenues Up 14%

Tencent's total revenues were RMB6,338.4 million (USD966.8 million), up 14.7% QoQ or an increase of 50.0% YoY over the first quarter of 2010.

Online gaming revenues increased 28.2% QoQ to RMB3,572.7 million. Cross Fire registered strong revenue growth in the quarter and underpinned the growth in online gaming revenues. Growth in DNF and Qi Xiong Zheng Ba, as well as contribution from World of West, a hardcore 3D fantasy MMOG launched in the first quarter of the year, also contributed to the increase in online gaming revenues.

Bigpoint Receives $350 Million Investment

Bigpoint GmbH announced that Summit Partners and TA Associates have signed definitive documentation to invest $350 million to recapitalize the company. TA Associates and Summit Partners jointly will own a controlling share of Bigpoint. Previous shareholder Comcast Interactive Capital's Peacock Equity Fund will sell their holdings in this transaction. GMT Communications Partners and GE will sell a majority of their stakes. Founder Heiko Hubertz will retain his existing ownership stake. Bigpoint-developed games are played by over 185 million people in more than 30 languages, are free-to-play and require no download or installation. More than 700 employees from over 35 different nations work at the company headquarters in Hamburg, Germany or at other locations in Berlin, San Francisco, Sao Paulo and Malta.

Nokia Eliminates 4,000 Jobs

Nokia announced plans to form a collaboration with Accenture that would result in the transfer of Nokia's Symbian software activites, including about 3,000 employees to Accenture. In addition, Nokia also plans to reduce its global workforce by about 4,000 employees by the end of 2012, with the majority of reductions in Denmark, Finland and the UK. These measures are part of Nokia's target to reduce its Devices & Services non-IFRS operating expenses by 1 billion euros for the full year 2013 in comparison to the full year 2010.

Zynga Acquires Wonderland Software

Zynga announced that is has acquired UK-based mobile game developer Wonderland Software, creator of GodFinger for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Wonderland Software will become Zynga Mobile UK, marking Zynga’s first operating studio in the UK. Through this deal, Zynga is acquiring the team at Wonderland and select IP, not including GodFinger. Additional terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Founded in 2009, Wonderland Software’s founders include Matthew Wiggins, Mark Rose and Al Harding. 

PapayaMobile Secures $18 Million

PapayaMobile a social gaming network on Android, has secured $18 million in a round of Series B funding. The round was led by Keytone Ventures, a leading venture capital firm in China with a heavy investment focus on the mobile Internet industry (Analogix Semiconductor, Borqs), and DCM, a venture capital firm with a investment focus on social networks and gaming.

DCM Launches Global Android-focused Fund

Pacific Rim technology venture capital firm DCM announced the launch of its Android-focused fund (“A-Fund”). The A-Fund is a $100 million investment initiative that will focus on startups developing solutions taking advantage of Android's rapid growth. The A-Fund will be managed by DCM, an investor in early stage technology companies based in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo.

Apple Reports 95 Percent Profit Growth

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 second quarter ended March 26, 2011. The Company posted record second quarter revenue of $24.67 billion and record second quarter net profit of $5.99 billion, or $6.40 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $13.50 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.07 billion, or $3.33 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 41.4 percent compared to 41.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 59 percent of the quarter’s revenue.