Infinity Levels actually pivoted from an original focus on dating apps to games last year. Having taken an early seed funding round from Thai e-book startup Ookbee and Singles Solution (Infinity Levels CEO and co-founder Nikki Assavathorn’s other business), it has now pulled in this new round from InVent, a VC firm with links to Thai operator AIS.
That pivot is quite the transformation. Assavathorn told TechCrunch in an interview that its Avalable dating app remains in service, but the 10-person team has switched focus to gaming because of a perception that the grounds are more fertile, particular for freemium-based games.
Infinity Levels’s first game is Ranch Run. The title is something like a mix between Clash Of Clans, Farmville and a racing game. It was initially released in Australia and then a further three countries as the team tested it among early users.
The game will launch worldwide on iOS and Android in January 2015. Assavathorn said the new funding will go towards continuing Ranch Run’s development and introducing two other titles in early 2015.
This round is a convertible note, and Infinity Levels turned down a term sheet from Singapore, Assavathorn claimed, because the prospective investor wanted to tie the young startup down to a fixed valuation.
She was reluctant to do so, since she believed one hit title can send a company’s valuation soaring.
“Investors in this part of the world seemed to be scared of games companies,” Assavathorn reflected. “But the games business is not hit and miss if you understand trends and you have a formula.”
On that point, Infinity Levels has partnered with fellow Bangkok-based games studio Pocket Playlab to tap into a formula. Two-year-old Pocket Playlabs has seen success with viral games and it previously partnered with Rovio to release its flagship Juicy Cubes game under the Scandinavian firm’s Rovio Stars publishing venture.
This time, it is playing publisher. The company has agreed to a $2 million deal with Infinity Levels which will see the startup’s games published and marketed by Pocket Playlab.
Ranch Run was more than a year in the making, and Assavathorn said that the company will look to raise more funding later next year to develop new titles.
“We want to keep our games collection small and stay focused on building quality titles,” she added.