Portalarium Raises Funds for Social Gaming

Austin-based gaming bad ass and space enthusiast Richard Garriott’s company Portalarium announced that is has raised $2.4M in additional financing from m8 and the Founder’s Fund. The company is planning to release a game named CenterPort in 2012, which is a visually rich social networking game that will “be the virtual world social hub for the OpenLife ecosystem, a broad yet fully integrated meta-community” according to the studio’s website.

“We are delighted to join Richard Garriott and the Portalarium team in creating the next great gaming company. Richard is one of the giants of the industry. He’s a proven entrepreneur and has been a driving force at each of the industry’s major turning points,” said Joseph Kim, general partner of m8 Capital, the London-based venture fund. “Richard’s vision for the future of mobile and social gaming will result in a new generation of ground-breaking games.”

“Founders Fund is extremely pleased to continue its support for Portalarium,” said the venture firm’s Brian Singerman. “Starting new companies and transforming them into extraordinary successes is nothing new to Richard Garriott and his team and we expect Portalarium will continue their exceptional 30 year track record.”

For Portalarium, the funding comes just as the company is gearing up for the launch in coming months of a brand new and unique social media game. Details will be released later this summer.

In the last year, Portalarium has released two games—Port Casino Poker™ and Port Casino Blackjack™, on Facebook® and hi5™ social networks—a couple of evergreen products created to quickly build out the company’s backend technology and start interconnecting a player network across platforms and social networks. Additionally, Port Casino Poker recently launched on Apple’s iPad™ with a planned expansion to the iPhone™ coming soon and Android™ later this year.

“With m8 Capital and Founders Fund, we have the investment resources in place with two very key partners who are prepared to help us grow and scale our company to meet the opportunities found currently in social media and mobile platforms,” said Portalarium CEO Fred Schmidt. “m8 also provides an important international role as we shape our strategy for the European market while Founders Fund has been invaluable in keeping us solidly connected to the social media scene that has coalesced in the Bay Area.

“This round,” said Schmidt, “helps us to continue making the next generation of hit games in Austin, Texas, a hotbed of talent in the technical and creative industries which Richard and his team have helped nurture for the past 30 years and which is now finally gaining global recognition.”

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Portalarium Raises Funds for Social Gaming

Get Your Tickets Now for Rice Alliance’s “New World of Gaming” Event – November 9th

The Rice Alliance’s Austin Chapter will be hosting another great event on Tuesday November 9th. This time the topic is “The New World of Gaming,” and they’ve lined up some killer speakers for the panel discussion. Tickets are going fast so go get yours right now.

The New York Times’ Susanna Hamner will be moderating the discussion, which is headlined by Austin’s own gaming legend Richard Garriott, along with Rodney Gibbs, CEO of Ricochet labs (the makers of the oh-so-addictive Qrank).

There’s no doubt that Austin has long been one of the hubs in the gaming industry, but as the industry evolves with mobile devices, everywhere access, touch technology and tablet form-factors, Austin’s gaming community is evolving as well.

The Rice Alliance put it best: “Does Austin have the right combination of creative genius, technical talent, entrepreneurial know-how, and access to smart capital to be the epicenter of an explosion of new ventures bringing entertainment and connection to the computer, smart-phone, and iPad enabled community?”

If you’re at all interested, invested or passionate about the gaming industry in Austin, this is a can’t-miss event.

Tickets are available now at http://www.alliance.rice.edu/assnfe/ev.asp?ID=131

Book ‘em soon if you’d like to attend – the last Rice Alliance event sold out quickly! The event is November 9th at 6pm at the AT&T Conference Center.

If you’d like a sneak peek of what you can expect to see at the event, check out the early interviews with the headliner panelists below. Thanks to AMS Pictures here in Austin for producing these great videos with the panelists.


Get Your Tickets Now for Rice Alliance’s “New World of Gaming” Event – November 9th