Just a few short months after raising a $1.1M seed round, PuzzleSocial raised a $3M Series A.
Of course, it helps if you’re writing digital crossword puzzles that are accessible on multiple platforms. And if you don’t make the clues so obscure that you need a PhD yin astrophysics to solve them. It also helps if you’re on course to be the #1 daily solved crossword puzzle of all time. They’re also the only player with a virtual economy, and that certainly sets them ahead of the pack.
Founder and CEO (and tournament level crossword puzzle solver) Jeb Balise gives us a few more clues that led to his investors writing the checks – yet again.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise? Was it seed, Series A, B, etc?
We raised $3M Series A. The round was led by KiwiTech, with participation from all of our previous investors
Tell us about your product.
We make the app Daily Celebrity Crossword for iOS, Android, Kindle, and Facebook.
How is it different?
It’s the only crossword puzzle that’s universally solvable because we don’t use obscure clues or references in the puzzle. Instead, our puzzles have a lot of fun clues and answers about what’s going on in today’s world.
You’re on track to become the #1 solved daily crossword of all time. How do you account for that?
We currently have over 1 million puzzles solved every week. We will be able to increase that number substantially with the funding.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We appeal to both the 50 million solvers in the US and the all people who “don’t do crosswords” because they think that crosswords are too difficult or out of touch with today’s world.
What’s your business model?
We’re the only crossword puzzle with a virtual economy. We charge virtual coins to access more puzzles and to get hints. Our players either pay to get more coins or they earn coins by watching advertising or completing offers.
What was the funding process like, this time around, considering you closed your seed round fairly recently – and all of those investors signed on for this round?
We were able to close this round three months after asking for capital.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our job is to make the world’s most entertaining crossword puzzle every day and they are convinced that we do that.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Our next major release in March will include a lot of product improvements that should better engage and monetize our player base.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh
injection of capital in the bank?
Always pitch what you’re doing to anyone who will listen, learn from any feedback that you get, and never give up.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We remain focused on improving our product and growing our user base.
What’s your personal tech-related New Year’s prediction for 2015?
I think more mobile apps will be able to rely on advertising as a main source of revenue.