GameGenetics, a Berlin, Germany-based aggregator and distributor of free-to-play online games, raised a Series A funding in the seven-digit Euro figure (read here). Today, CEO and founder Alexander Piutti joined us to talk about the company, its solution, and team and future plans.
FinSMEs: Hello, Alexander, thank you for joining us. First, can you tell us a something about gamegenetics.com? How did you come up with the idea of creating the company?
Alexander: Hi Ermanno, many thanks for your interest. In 2009, we saw an increasing need for online game developers to ramp up their professional marketing and distribution efforts. At the same time, we learned from major portals and gaming websites that it is hard for them to find the ‘right’ games for their audience. So we figured that someone should build that bridge and match supply and demand in a rapidly growing market 😉
FinSMEs: What is it? How does it work?
Alexander: The concept of free-to-play games was successfully established in South Korea. Surprisingly, German online game developers such as Bigpoint, Travian Games, InnoGames and Gameforge — to name a few — were also first movers in that respect in a global context. Our job is to support those guys in reaching their global audience. We do that by – for example – building game channels for portals and gaming sites in more than 20 countries today. Those game channels are created and maintained by us, while we make sure every channel partner gets the best-possible mix of free-to-play games through us – exactly matching their respective audience. Basically, we can partner with anybody that owns traffic such as traffic networks, agencies and marketeers. We help those players to successfully monetize their traffic with our popular free-to-play games.
FinSMEs: What’s your business model?
Alexander: We share the revenue with our channel partners that is generated by each game or provided by game developers in terms of marketing budget. It’s a true win/win model for all parties involved.
FinSMEs: Could you tell us a bit more about the features that differentiate the service from competitors?
Alexander: we are often told we have the most diverse portfolio of free-to-play online games. Actually, it took us three years to build strong ties to our game partners which is probably not easy to replicate. In addition, we invested heavily in our marketing and distribution technology from day one. Today, we benefit from our early technology approach which enables us to deliver billions of game views every month across the globe.
FinSMEs: Could you introduce us the other team members?
Alexander: our team is quite passionate to introduce a disruptive distribution approach to an exploding market. Our growing team shows a diverse mix of international folks that love online games.
FinSMEs: Why did you start thinking about raising capital?
Alexander: fairly early. We did our first round 5 days after setting up shop. I knew that we wouldn’t be able to scale appropriately in the absence of cash.
FinSMEs: What did you do to raise vc? Was it easy to close the deal?
Alexander: our current lead investor is getting more than 1.000 funding requests per year, while investing into 0-5 companies during the same period. Hence, competition for the best investors is fierce. However, i believe that our experience in B2B-models and our execution speed helped us to partner with a leading VC.
FinSMEs: How are you using the capital?
Alexander: primarily, we will scale our go-to-market approach in upcoming regions with regard to free-to-play games such as US, UK and Eastern Europe.
FinSMEs: Do you already plan to raise an additional round?
Alexander: not at the moment. Let’s talk again in 2013 ;-).