Israeli startup Comunix, a developer of a video-based social gaming app, secured $30 million in Series A funding. The round was led by March Gaming - the gaming focused arm of March Capital, which also invested in Israeli firm Forter. Additionally, Powerhouse, Woori Capital, Altshuler Shaham, and existing investors, including Kaedan Capital, Velo Partners, Shay Ben-Yitzhak, Eitan Reisel and Baladi Ventures, also participated in the round. Mitch Garber, the man who led the Playtika sale, also got in on the action.
Pa Pa Pa Poker Face
Comunix developed a game called Pokerface, which allows players from around the world to play together while live video chatting - unlike most standard poker games, where each player is designated an avatar.
The company uses a freemium format for the game that encourages players to purchase additional chips if they lose the free ones. Following the outbreak of the pandemic and the long home-incarcerating lockdowns (remember those?) Comunix reported significant growth, with revenue spiking x12 and new users by x9 during that time.
Or Ben Shimon, Comunix CEO, noted in a chat with Geektime that the company’s app is like “The Zoom of poker”. We asked him how the company handles the reputation often associated with online gambling games, and according to him, this is not the case with Pokerface.
“When gambling, players put down money that they either win or lose, that’s why it’s a bet. Pokerface uses the freemium model and like many other apps (Candy Crush for example), allows the player to purchase more gaming time, or chips, to stay in the game longer. More than 90% of the gamers use the product for free,” explained Ben Shimon. He noted that there were no real barriers blocking the company’s path to funding, bringing him to add that “the social gaming and video sector is one of the hottest industries right now for both Israeli and global venture capital funds.”
Comunix was founded by Ben Shimon and Idan Shriki, and employs a team of 45 at the Tel Aviv offices. The company added that the capital will be used to further advance and develop the poker game app.