India’s version of online poker catches fire.
By Dileep Thekkethil
BENGALURU: The Bangalore-based mobile game developer, Moonfrog Lab, raised $15 million in the Series A financing from Tiger Global and returning investors Sequoia Capital, reported TechCrunch.
The co-founder of Moonfrog, Tanay Tayal told TechCrunch that the amount generated will be used for hiring new talents and for developing new games in different genres which include action, strategy, and roleplaying. The company also looks forward to improving the data analytics and backend operations, and strengthen its strategic distribution agreements.
The company has now raised a total of $16 million, counting its previous $1 million generated from Sequoia during the company’s seed financing round.
The Bangalore-based startup was founded by a team of software developers who previously worked for games such as Mafia Wars, Bubblle Safari, Castleville and Empire and Aliens under the banner of Zynga.
The game titled “Teen Tatti Gold” garnered huge audience response, making it one of the most popular games of Moonfrog Labs. According to the company, it was downloaded two million times by mobile users. It also claims that “Teen Tatti Gold” is the most trending Android and iOS game in India.
Teen Patti Gold is the Indian version of Poker played with 3 cards and is also known as Flash or Flush. Teen Patti table can have up to 5 players. Winning depends on player’s cards and moves. The game is currently available in four languages – English, Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi.
The company is also actively promoting the game with additional features added to it during festival seasons.
Tayal said, ““For example, last week was India’s festival of color, ‘Holi,’ during which we released a feature that allows players to haul dye and paint at one another across the table, just as they do during the festivities. Our players loved it, and the feature was a big success. We did a similar event during Diwali, the festival of lights.”
Unlike a majority of games that earn revenue through annoying ads and pop-ups, Moonfrog relies on in-app purchases that allow users to experience new levels of the game. The company is planning to release new series of game in a year or two and is in the process of developing multiplayer games.
Among the challenges of designing games for Indian players are the relatively high price of data and unreliable, arduous broadband connections, Tayal said. Consequently, Moonfrog Labs’ games are engineered to utilize less data and battery power so they can run on even the most basic smartphones.