SOOMLA raises $5.5M to help game developers catch whales

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[] Tel Aviv, Israel - SOOMLA, the leading in-app purchase SDK for mobile games is announcing its Series A funding of $5.5 million. With new funding and 400 million end users, the startup is setting out to build the GROW platform, the first cross-game data sharing network. Mobile game developers can leverage the free platform to spot paying users, commonly referred to as "whales," and take action on their first session.

Backed by angel investors until recently, the startup has received its newest investment from an undisclosed multi-billion dollar online gaming corporation. The publicly traded gaming giant recently made two other acquisitions in the mobile space and is investing in SOOMLA to complement the portfolio with a data platform. The recent investment joins a trend of gaming corporations such as Nintendo, Baidu and Tencent all penetrating the mobile gaming market by investing and acquiring mobile gaming companies.

To sound the data horn, today SOOMLA is launching its first data product - the Whales Report. This product allows game developers to pinpoint users already paying in other games, hence highly likely to pay in their game too. This user-level insight is enabled by harnessing crowdsourced data across thousands of games in the GROW data network. Once game developers know users who've paid in other games, they can start targeting them with push messages, in-game campaigns and even adaptive gameplay experience.

Spotting payers early on turns the retention economics on its head. "Think about your game's seventh day retention. You lost a lot of users, but many of them actually paid in other games," says co-founder and CEO Yaniv Nizan. "We know exactly who these payers are and how much they pay, so we can put a number on how much money is left on the table," continues Nizan.

The Whales Report works on the premise of data sharing. Developers can gain access to the platform by agreeing to share data back with others in the network. The company anticipates that this model will drive the product to viral growth, as each game that joins enriches the dataset for everyone else.

A recent report from app marketing firm Swrve shows that 0.15% of mobile gamers account for 50% of all in-game revenue. Ironically, in an industry that is so dependent on whales, there are no means for identifying these lucrative users. SOOMLA is bridging this gap by combining data from thousands of companies. "Our approach is that gaming companies have a lot more to gain by sharing resources. Both our open source framework and the GROW network are based on that realization," says Nizan.

Unlike existing solutions that track data in only one game, the data platform developed by SOOMLA analyzes user behavior across a whole network of games. Developers who opt-in gain actionable insights from other games, not only theirs. "We're committed to building communities around technology," explains Gur Dotan, co-founder and VP Marketing at SOOMLA. "We've seen 10x value for developers collaborating on code, and we're re-creating that synergy around in-game data."

SOOMLA's journey began three years ago when the three founders noticed inefficiencies in the way mobile games were being developed. Free-to-play was on the rise with in-app purchase as the leading monetization strategy, yet all developers were building their monetization logic from scratch. The company created the SOOMLA Store SDK to simplify in-app purchase and adoption took off instantly. Since then, the store SDK has evolved into the SOOMLA framework, a full technology suite which interweaves in-app purchase, level design and social sharing to create engaging and monetizing games. Today the framework is backed by a thriving community of worldwide developers, all sharing the same goal of standardizing mobile game development.

Founded in 2012, SOOMLA's mission is to drive game developers' success with technology and data. Its market leading SDK powers over 4,000 live games reaching 400 million devices globally. The company's data platform employs cutting edge machine learning models capable of segmenting users and analyzing granular behavior across games. SOOMLA's open source products are actively supported by mobile game developers who believe in the power of collaboration. The startup prides itself on cultivating a unique technology-driven culture. The team is eight strong and hiring. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2015 SOOMLA. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.


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Yaniv Nizan

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