Orange County Business Journal

Software Gaming Startup Gaikai Raises $30M

Chris Casacchia Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Aliso Viejo-based software startup Gaikai Inc. has raised $30 million from some big industry players in a recent funding round, the company announced Wednesday.

The third round funding was led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm New Enterprise Association. Other backers included San Diego chipmaker Qualcomm Corp., Benchmark Capital in Silicon Valley, Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon Partners and Intel Capital, the venture arm of chip kingpin Intel Corp. and a previous Gaikai investor.

The proceeds will push the rollout of the company’s interactive cloud network, where games are computed in servers and then delivered to players through high-speed internet connections.

The company is aiming to establish lots of servers around the world to provide quick service to users.

The funding comes on the heels of a major deal Gaikai inked with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. last month to stream video games on walmart.com’s Gamecenter, where visitors can test games and then buy them, get previews and preorder hot titles.

It also has a deal with Redwood City’s Electronic Arts Inc., maker of the "Madden NFL" and "Tiger Woods" games.

Gaikai founder David Perry told gaming magazine Edge earlier this month that if cloud gaming sees mass adoption it could change the online gaming industry and rattle the traditional retail market in favor of digital distribution, akin to the music and movie industry.

Gaikai competes with the much-larger OnLive and other rivals such as Otoy, Spoon and Playcast on online gaming.

The video game market of late has been dominated by creators of online games, such as top video game maker Blizzard Entertainment Inc. in Irvine.

With the latest funding round, Gaikai has raised some $45 million to date.