It Girl maker CrowdStar raises $23 million for mobile, global and... elsewhere?

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CrowdStar's Fat WalletHave you ever found a $1 bill in your pocket doing laundry and felt pretty swell about it? Well, CrowdStar is feeling 23 million times that, as the fourth-place social game developer just raised $23 million in funding. The hefty cash injection comes from investments from Intel, Time Warner and Chinese games company The9, TechCrunch reports. Before this, CrowdStar became the fourth largest Facebook game developer on just $100 thousand in funding. This is extremely impressive considering Playdom, owned by Disney, is only the fifth most popular.

CEO Peter Relan already knows what he wants to do with the now-massive wallet: expand, expand, expand. CrowdStar will likely make use of its new found friendship in China to expand to Eastern markets, which already bring in 50 percent of its traffic. Then, it's off iOS and later Android, a smart move considering the strides Zynga, EA and Playfish are making already in that space. Better yet, Relan already told TechCrunch that this wallet fattening will allow him to double the CrowdStar staff to 200. (Those of you looking for work in the industry, here's your golden ticket.)

However, it's entirely possible for CrowdStar to release apps on Intel's marketplace, AppUp, which Rovio has already put some stock in, releasing Angry Birds there. Considering the fact that CrowdStar has already experimented on other platforms like Microsoft's MSN Games portal, it wouldn't be entirely unexpected to see games like Happy Pets pop up elsewhere.

Not to mention how saturated Facebook has become. When Zynga has its grips on 248 million social gamers, can you really blame developers for looking elsewhere to strike gold? It might not be long before CrowdStar games appear on Hi5, King.com and who knows where else.

[Image Credit: DeviantArt]

How else do you think CrowdStar will spend its money? Do you think the company will find success on social platforms other than Facebook? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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