The Israeli startup SOOMLA, which provides an SDK for mobile games to encourage users to make in-app purchases, announced on Monday that they successfully completed a Series A funding round of $5.5 million. The company, which until now had financed their efforts through private investors only, raised the current round from a multi-billion dollar gaming corporation that preferred to remain anonymous.
The company was founded in 2012 after the three founders, Gur Dotan, Raphael Dakar, and Yaniv Nitzan, noticed a lack of efficiency in the way mobile games were developed. In an age when the popularity of ‘Free to play’ games is on the rise, the best form of income-generation is through in-app purchases. Yet it seemed that game developers didn’t really understand how to capitalize on this fact.
Enter SOOMLA. They developed a data platform that analyzes user behavior across a wide array of games. Developers who chose to join the network could receive insights gleaned from thousands of games, not just their own.
The platform uses machine learning to segment the different users and analyze their behavior. This same solution, which has since has evolved into a platform, provides insights into in-app purchases, effective planning of difficulty levels, and encouraging social media shares. The goal of all these insights is to create a standardization amongst mobile games; to date the company’s SDK has been installed in over 4,000 games.
The company’s recently raised funds and 400 million end users will allow them to develop the world’s first network of inter-game data sharing. The goal of the platform will be to allow mobile game developers to leverage their free games effectively by finding paying users, who are nicknamed “Whales.
0.15% of users generate 50% of profits
The company is also launches their first data product, called Whales Report. This product was created to allow game developers to identify players who are already paying for other games and are therefore more likely to pay for their game as well. This insight is gained from crowd sourced data from thousands of games in the data network. As soon as developers can identify ‘paying players,’ they can target them directly with the help of push notifications and in-game promotions, which also helps retain players for longer durations.
The Whales Report relies on developers sharing data, who can only receive access to the information if they become part of the network. A recent report by the game marketing company Swrve indicates that 0.15% of mobile gamers account for 50% of total in-game profits; SOOMLA effectively narrows the gap between game developers and these ‘whales.’ “Our aim is to allow game developers to make much greater profits by pooling their resources. Our open source code and our GROW platform is based on this insight,” said Yaniv Nitzan, the company’s CEO and founding partner.
The company’s Tel Aviv offices currently employ around eight employees, and the company plans on hiring additional staff in the near future.
SOOMLA’s new tool: The Whales Report