Dorian has increased $ 2 million to fund interactive stories for a new generation of readers. The San Francisco-based company develops an "immersive fiction app" inspired by experimental storytelling as Netflix Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, where viewers could make choices for the show's characters.
The money comes from game-focused investors March Capital Partners, with the participation of London Venture Partners (LVP) and others. (Two leaders from these companies, Gregory Milken from March Capital Partners and David Gardner from LVP, will talk about investing in the game at our GamesBeat Summit 2019 event in Los Angeles on April 23 and April 24.)
Dorian Wants build the future of fictional-based interactive media for mobile. Immersive story is a fast growing category, and funding will help Dorian deliver several stories for different audience groups, with the first focus on millennia and Gen Z women.
] "Dorian was started by women in leadership role, helping us create stories containing different and
authentic female role models that are scarce in interactive entertainment and especially in play, "
CEO Julia Palatovska said in a statement. "When we talk to players we hear that young women are tired of the Cinderella stories that still dominate the content of women. Dorian will give players control over their individual story, the ability to join like-minded people and the chance to express themselves through meaningful choices making difference. "
Since storytelling is a social activity by definition, Dorian works with a new take of your own
adventure genre. Players can collaborate and make choices together. This move from
traditional to interactive fiction, with readers taking the driving seat, reflecting recent shifts in television, film, art and theater, is driven by the generation of users who grew up building content in such
games like Minecraft and Roblox and Don't be passive consumers.
Dorian said that the product will not only allow users to make decisions in interactive, non-linear digital stories, similar to what the audience has with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch but also enjoy deep social collaboration with their friends and families.
"Dorian identified a generation shift in consumer habits and goals to build a platform for
reaching both underestimated female audiences and next generation content creators," said Gregory
Milken, CEO, March Capital Partners. "Adapting to their audience has given Julia and
her advantage in creating an app that makes them leader in the interactive digital fiction room
Over the past 10 years, women have made up nearly 50 percent of people playing games in the United States, especially on mobile devices. Yet only about 20 percent of the professionals in the gaming industry are women. This leads to the lack of female-friendly content, the company said, with most games being built by men and men. Addressing this is one of the main reasons for starting Dorian.
Dorian is led by the gaming industry professionals with many years of experience in mobile gaming and
entertainment. Palatovska has recently worked on gambling VC fund LVP, which is now a
investor in Dorian's franchise, having helped build gambling publishing and content pipeline on mobile gaming publisher G5 Games published publicly in Nasdaq Stockholm.
She joined Jordan Lee, who has been in leading gaming technology roles on several mobile gaming studios such as Nexon M and Digital Chocolate; and Heather Logas, former game designer at Pixelberry, the studio behind one of the leading interactive fiction apps. Choices: Stories You Play.
"We only invest in the digital gaming industry because of our deep conviction that even the most traditional hobbies will be dominated by digital formats," says David Lau-Kee, general partner at the LVP, in a statement. "Dorian's focus on interactive storytelling and their strategy of building a new medium that combines fiction with social gameplay appeals immensely, and the positive response from early users confirms Dorian's ability to deal with a large and often misunderstood audience."
Other investors in the round include MTG (acquirer of ESL, InnoGames and Kongregate); Century Game, backer of Cocoa Games; Joi Itos fund, Neoteny 4; and prominent angel investors in games: Jens Hilgers, known for cofounding ESL; Kevin Lin, founder of Twitch; Holly Liu, former founder of Kabam and now a visiting partner at Y Combinator; and Jonathan Zweig, former founder of AdColony and currently founder and CEO of AppOnboard.