The leading Russian social games publisher i-Jet Media is raising $20 million funding for a 25 percent stake in the company, reported newspaper Vedomosti. Some 75 percent of the funds to be invested into purchasing game development studios in different countries, while 25 percent – into buying out a minority stake from the founders of the company. i-Jet is in talks with venture capital firms Almaz Capital, DST and Finam, according i-Jet CEO Alexey Kostarev.
Founded in 2005 by Alexey Kostarev and Dmitri Shubin, i-Jet Media expects to generate revenues of $15 million in 2010. i-Jet Media, which has over 60 million registered social game users of which 10 million play games daily, acts as games producer, publisher and distributor. The company, which calls itself “social games distribution network”, has published 70 social games in 30 different social networks in various countries. i-Jet Media recently agreed with Disney-owned Playdom to publish its games in Russian and European social networks. i-Jet has game publshing office in Yekaterinburg (Russia), development studio in Chelyabinsk (Russia) and representative offices in Sunnyvale (USA) and Beijing (China).
i-Jet‘s first success came in last year when it published social game Happy Farm (Счастливая Ферма). The game became #1 social game on Vkontakte.ru social network in Russia in 2009. It generated annual revenues of $20 million, of which i-Jet got $5 million net revenue as game publisher. The remaining $10 million and $5 million revenues went to Vkontakte social network and Chinese game developer, respectively.
i-Jet has become one of the largest social game publishers and distributors in leading European social networks Netlog, Nasza Klasa, Vkontakte.ru, Odnoklassniki.ru and VZnet Networks (studiVZ, schülerVZ and meinVZ) over the past year. Its most popular game titles include Wild West Trains (Паровозики in Russian), AirPort (Аэропорт in Russian or Flughafen in German), Crazy Cars (Веселые тачки in Russian or Crazy Autos in German).