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playfab12PlayFab, a Seattle-based company that provides game developers with back-end services for their online games, announced today that it raised $7.4 million in a Series A investment round.

The round was led by Benchmark Capital, and included participation from Madrona Venture Group, Startup Capital Ventures, Orbitz CEO Barney Harford and PopCap co-founder Jason Kapalka.

The company plans to use the funds to add developers, roll out advanced tools and bolster its partner ecosystem. In addition, the company plans to develop resources to educate developers on how to use its tools so that they’re more likely to be drawn to the service.

“We’re making a big investment in not just the tools to help people do that effectively, but also the knowledge and the know-how to help our community use them,” PlayFab co-founder and CEO James Gwertzman told GeekWire in an interview.

Gwertzman is a former executive at PopCap Games, which sold to Electronic Arts for more than $750 million in 2011. At PopCap, he ran the company’s Asian business.

CEO James Gwertzman.
CEO James Gwertzman.

That focus on developing new tools and new documentation may help bring in even more developers who might otherwise try to build their own back-end systems to support their game.

As a part of the deal, Benchmark general partner Mitch Lasky will be joining PlayFab’s board of directors. It’s an easy fit for Lasky, who also sits on the boards of game developers Hammer & Chisel, Red Robot Labs and thatgamecompany.

“Successful new games must be deeply networked, highly dynamic, and responsive to real-time metrics,” Lasky said in a press release. “This change has created an opportunity for an integrated platform to help developers and publishers get these new products to market at scale. PlayFab’s extensive experience building, running and optimizing live games makes it the best option for delivering next-generation products to market, and to do so better, faster and cheaper than developers could do on their own.”

The raise comes just six months after the company closed a $2.5 million seed round.

At that time, the company officially launched its service for anyone to use. Since then, developers have registered more than 1,700 game titles with the company, with 160 of those in active development.

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