Turkey’s Spike Games raises $55 million for casual mobile games


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Spike Video games has raised $55 million in a seed spherical to construct an informal and social cellular sport. That is the most important seed spherical raised by a feminine CEO in Turkey and globally for a sport firm.

Recreation enterprise capital agency Griffin Gaming Companions led the spherical. The Istanbul firm is led by CEO Rina Onur Sirinoglu, who was a part of Peak Video games, which Zynga acquired in June 2020 for $1.8 billion. The corporate is making its first sport Royal Riches for Android and iOS.

Based on IDG Consulting, Spike Video games focuses on the cellular gaming market, which is the quickest rising business section with gross bookings of $136 billion. Based on market researcher Newzoo, cellular gaming is projected to develop by 248% within the subsequent 10 years.

The cofounders are 5 gaming business leaders who’ve constructed groups and developed lots of the world’s top-grossing international cellular titles, which have collectively generated 9.5 million each day lively customers (DAUs) and $1 billion in income to this point .

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The Spyke cofounder was beforehand a cofounder or member of the manager workforce at Peak Video games, Zynga and Riot Video games. These embrace CEO Rina Onur Sirinoglu, Chief Working Officer Remi Onur (Rina’s brother), Chief Product Officer Barkin Basran, Chief Know-how Officer Fuat Koskun and Chief Advertising and marketing Officer Mithat Madra. Onur Sirinoglu, Onur and Basran have been a part of the beginning peak workforce and Zynga went on to be a part of the workforce in Turkey.

Above: Spike Video games has raised the largest seed spherical in Turkish gaming.

Picture credit score: Spike

“It is a new firm, however coming again with an previous workforce,” Onur Sirinoglu mentioned in an interview with Gamesbeat. “It is acquired lots of the engineers and among the actors from Peak Video games. This workforce has been working collectively for the previous 12 months on our first title.”

She mentioned the objective is to create a “perpetually franchise,” borrowing Zynga’s phrases for video games that generate greater than $100 million a 12 months and final greater than 5 years.

Onur Sirinoglu mentioned, “We’re contemplating Spyke as not solely a sport content material developer, however a social platform like an umbrella, the place we’re going to play actually social video games.”

Griffin Gaming Companions is among the largest enterprise capital corporations on the earth centered on investing within the international gaming market. Griffin has additionally invested in Discord, Forte, Applovin, Overwolf and WinZO.

The sport is presently in testing and it may launch in a couple of month. The preliminary metrics have been shared with Griffin, and that’s the reason the corporate selected to guide the whole seed spherical, mentioned Phil Sanderson, managing director of Griffin Gaming Companions, who can also be a member of Spyke’s board of administrators.

Above: Spike’s founders have had lots of success.

Picture Credit: Spike Video games

“Good corporations are nonetheless rising in all places, particularly in Turkey,” Sanderson mentioned. “Now we have seen this time and again, the place you may have many corporations created and that result in increasingly corporations. Turkey is turning into a central place for rising startups. That is an unimaginable type in Turkey. From the colourful gaming scene.”

Sanderson famous that Onur Sirinoglu has been adept at hiring extremely skilled and skilled individuals at its startup, particularly those that come from Peak Video games.

“Rina is an unimaginable power of nature, and so is her co-founder,” Sanderson mentioned. “It has helped them pull in a lot expertise.” They know how you can produce merchandise and video games with billions of {dollars} in income. And we noticed the identical potential with Spike. It is the identical workforce, the identical methodology, they usually have the data and knowledge to make a enjoyable sport with a balanced economic system, unimaginable graphics – simply all the correct components that make a sport a hit.”

Onur Sirinoglu mentioned Royal Riches is displaying robust engagement and retention numbers, regardless that it’s early within the course of.

The workforce consists of 30 individuals, and by the top of the 12 months its quantity is deliberate to develop to 70 or extra individuals. A whole lot of these individuals might be person acquisition and advertising consultants.

“Each division goes to double in dimension,” Onur Sirinoglu mentioned.

Spyke will use the funds to launch its preliminary sport, Royal Riches, and give attention to steady enchancment, in addition to hiring high expertise from Turkey’s thriving expertise and gaming ecosystem. Turkish startups raised a file $1.4 billion and gaming startups raised over $400 million in 2021, in response to Startups Watch.

“It is good to be again and are available collectively and do it once more with a workforce from Istanbul to create one other gaming big,” Onur Sirinoglu mentioned.

Spike Games

Above: Spike Video games sees an enormous alternative.

Picture Credit: Spike Video games

In 2010 or so, Onur Sirinoglu mentioned it was tough to construct a gaming ecosystem in Turkey, as Peak Video games was his solely gaming success.

“We have been making an attempt to coach the market and attempt to persuade individuals from totally different industries to maneuver into this factor, which is known as free to play,” Onur Sirinoglu mentioned. “Nobody understood. After which we’d all the time complain and say that Turkey has no expertise.

Peak Video games nonetheless discovered lots of expertise, and now lots of enterprise capital markets are flocking to Turkey to construct new cellular sport studios and hypercasual sport makers. The inhabitants is younger and lots of engineers are coming into the workforce, and that is creating lots of sport builders to develop.

“We now have lots of people who need to are available in and we have now extra position fashions to point out those who gaming is the correct business,” Onur Sirinoglu mentioned.

Whereas the marketplace for sport builders is aggressive in Turkey, Onur Sirinoglu mentioned the corporate is making an attempt to distinguish itself by creating a powerful tradition and camaraderie amongst its staff, who work within the workplace.

“We love working collectively,” she mentioned. “We like the truth that like artists know what engineers are doing, and engineers know what most individuals are doing. And there’s this fixed synergy in communication between simply mates and coworkers.”

Sanderson mentioned the corporate is seeking to discover extra corporations with feminine founders in locations like India and Israel, and different locations around the globe.

“The info confirmed that girls founders outperformed common,” she mentioned. “We’re enormous advocates of ladies beginning and working corporations and delivering nice returns.”

Onur Sirinoglu mentioned the corporate is evaluating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in video games, however it’s nonetheless making an attempt to grasp the market and acquire regulatory readability.

“We’re watching this carefully,” she mentioned.

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