There’s a lot to like about the mobile gaming studio Kiwi, which said today that it has closed a $9 million funding round led by Sequoia Capital. Five of the Android-focused company’s titles currently rank among the top 100 grossing apps in Google Play, according to App Annie, and all have their games enjoy high ratings in the store. Most importantly, the 160-employee company boasts some impressive gaming cred: Co-founders Omar Siddiqui and Shvetank Jain were responsible for online social networking games such as Gardens of Time and City of Wonder for the publisher Playdom, and Guitar Hero co-creator Charles Huang is also an investor.
Mobile gaming is generating huge revenues, as recent estimates from eMarketer show, and the market will only increase as the penetration rates of both smartphones and tablets grow. But as I wrote last month, mobile is very different than any other gaming platform, and we have yet to see a mobile developer who can consistently produce successful titles over an extended period. That’s especially true in the world of mobile social gaming, which has given Zynga fits. Investing in Kiwi could pay huge dividends for Sequoia and other backers, but the odds of long-term success are, well, long.