Chinese internet technology company NetEase Inc has made a $50 million strategic investment for a minority stake in Improbable, a UK game developer that counts SoftBank, Horizons Ventures and Temasek Holdings among its investors, according to a company announcement.
The company said, the latest investment comes “with a significant increase in our valuation.” Media reports said that the latest deal may value the UK technology firm at about $2 billion, double its $1-billion valuation last year.
The latest investment follows a $502-million Series B round of funding led by SoftBank in May 2017.
As part of the deal, NetEase will purchase new shares in Improbable alongside some existing shares, the statement noted.
Following the transaction, NetEase will use Improbable’s SpatialOS cloud-based technology to produce games as it pursues new business opportunities with video game developers and publishers in China and the Asia Pacific.
“The investment will increase our ability to help game makers in China and beyond to build previously impossible games, by helping game makers to benefit from a neutral, openly available technology platform supporting the next generation of online gaming,” the company said, in the statement.
NetEase’s first game built on SpatialOS will be announced later in 2018.
NetEase’s investment follows a partnership agreement between the two firms in February 2018 for the use of SpatialOS platform to develop games.
Founded in 2012, Improbable raised a $20-million Series A funding round from Andreessen Horowitz in March 2015. Four months later, Improbable raised a $30-million follow-on Investment led by Horizons Ventures, together with investors including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.
This was followed by a Series B of $502 million in May 2017 led by SoftBank. Andreessen Horowitz and Horizons Ventures also joined the Series B round with follow-on investments.
Led by CEO, Herman Narula, Improbable now has 200 employees placed in London, San Francisco, Guangzhou and Washington D.C.