Oh Bibi raises 3 million euros for its mobile games and targets the Asian market
The mobile gaming industry isn’t just for big American studios like Zynga. In Europe too, things are moving and many start-ups have emerged over the past two years. There is of course the British King (Candy crush) and the Finnish SuperCell (Clash of Clans). But smaller studios are also of interest to investors, as proof: French Oh Bibi Socialtainment finalized on June 13 the raising of 3 million euros, a substantial sum for this Parisian start-up which thus carried out its very first capital opening.
Invest in human resources and marketing
Two entities participated in this roundtable: a French investment fund, TIME Equity Partners, and a Japanese mobile game publisher: Gumi “I personally know the two co-founders of Oh Bibi and I believe that they represent what should be a good box of video games, innovative without trying to copy” confides Matthieu Burleraux, in charge of the development of Gumi in Europe. “We have been preparing this fundraising since the beginning of 2014” indicates Martial Valery, general manager of Oh Bibi since last year. Two expenditure items are identified for these 3 million euros: recruitment and marketing. “We hope to recruit around ten people by the end of 2014. We are looking for skills in both development, graphic design and acquisition marketing and community management” explains this ESSEC graduate, before continuing : “On the marketing side, we are going to invest in recruiting players by traditional advertising means and other more innovative methods”. They should for example invest in banners and interstitials.
Founded two years ago by Stanislas Dewavrin, former creative director of Gameloft, Oh Bibi currently employs 14 people and currently publishes only one game: Motor World Car Factory, released in September 2012. The launch of a new game is expected by the end of the year, but his universe and his name remain withheld.
Asia in the crosshairs
In Motor World Car Factory, the player manages an automobile production plant. “This game created by Stanislas is close to 2.5 million downloads” announces Martial Valery. It is based on a “free to play” model and the start-up monetizes its audience by billing in-game progression items. “Most of our income comes from the United States, the United Kingdom, of Canada and Australia ”continues this former director of content and innovation at Gameloft, French studio listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
But the start-up does not intend to stick to the Anglo-Saxon world. Asia will be its next priority development area. The rise in capital of Gumi, which publishes Brave frontier, a successful role-playing game, should help. Lthe games market on mobile in China to overtake that of the United States in 2015.
A market at 23.4 billion dollars in 2016?
The company, which claims to be profitable but does not disclose its turnover, is targeting several million euros in revenue in 2014. It faces competition from other players such as Gameloft (publisher of global successes such as Asphalt, Brother in Arms, or Minion Rush) or Pretty simple Games in France; and Wooga, Kobojo and other Peak Games on a European scale.
All hope to gain a foothold in the growing mobile and other gaming market socials games. It must be said that according to a study published by Applift, the global mobile game market is expected to reach $ 23.4 billion by 2016, double what it represented last year. “What is interesting in Europe is that we have a more creative conception of the game. Our strong point is an innovative creative universe in the face of a more commercial American approach,” said Martial Valery. Gumi, who created an investment fund last year is also focusing on Europe: “We are thinking of investing in other projects in Europe, not only in developers but in the entire video game ecosystem, by selecting those with which we will be able to create synergies, ”states Matthieu Burleraux from Gumi.
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