Chinese Internet portal operator Tencent Holdings has led a US$11 million Series B financing round for Outspark, a publisher and operator of free online community games.

Existing Outspark investors DCM and Altos Ventures also participated in the round, which will help Outspark expand and enhance a virtual playground that has attracted more than one million registered users in less than five months.

"Online gaming has become one of the most important new cultural phenomena in Asia, and we believe that PC-based online games will find a huge market here in North America as well. Outspark is off to a great start in building a strong user community with its titles," said David Wallerstein, Tencent Senior Executive Vice President of International.

Outspark will use the additional funding for growth, expansion and the enhancement of current offerings, which already include the games Fiesta and Secret of the Solstice. It will also explore further cooperation with Tencent and other talented online game developers located around the world.

"It's an exciting time for the online gaming industry as it quickly becomes mainstream entertainment," said Susan Choe, Outspark founder and CEO. "At Outspark, our vision to provide a leading virtual playground for all gamers is rapidly gaining recognition from the gaming community. We look forward to providing even more interactive online entertainment for our growing audience."

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