Interview

Windows Phone 8 will be surprise of 2013, says MoMinis' Frid as platform looks to expand

Windows Phone 8 will be surprise of 2013, says MoMinis' Frid as platform looks to expand
It's been an excellent year for Israeli company MoMinis.

Having raised $4.5 million in April, its B Series round pulled in $6 million from existing funders and it gained a new lead investor in the shape of Gemini Israel Ventures.

But the Tel Avivi outfit isn't finished yet.

It's keeping the funding round open, and looking to reinforce its future strategy with investment from the US West Coast VC community.

As CEO Itzik Frid points out, "We're in the sweetspot of the mobile games industry".

Full service

That's the case as the company offers a end-to-end solution for developers: from its MoMinis Studio to make casual 2D games to distribution on its PlayScape platform.

This offers integrated services such as its Coins universal virtual currency, strong cross-promotion, and social features such as mission walls which drive retention.

The platform - already 35 million users strong - is growing at an average rate of 100,000 downloads daily, and has one million daily active users and 5.5 million monthly active users.



To that extent, the company is competing in the same market as much bigger rivals like GREE and DeNA's Mobage. (With its publishing model, it's more like the latter than the former.)

"They are both great companies," Frid says. "But I believe we differentiate in terms of being a one-stop shop."

He also says that MoMinis offers more of a personal service to the companies it works with.

"We share our expertise with our developers. We experiment in terms of the games we develop internally, and as soon as people sign up with us, we're giving them advice."

This community approach is backed by regular webinars (see video below) as well as its annual GameCast Contest, which boasts a $100,000 prize for the winner. Concepts for the competition must be entered by 24 December 2012.

It's this sort of activity that Frid says has seen over 100 games in development for MoMinis from developers in over 18 countries.

"We're a company of just 40 people and we're releasing a game a week," he enthuses.

Expansion area

Of course, thanks to the new funding, those number are likely to increase, with new offices - most likely in the US - in the offing.

Most of the new investment will be ploughed back into PlayScape and the development environment, however.

At the moment, MoMinis is purely focused on Android; something that will change in 2013 as it looks to move to iOS, Windows Phone and Facebook.

Frid notes that iOS offers a different environment to the almost 'anything goes' culture of Android - in terms of monetisation as well as update cycles etc. But he's particularly keen on the almost virgin territory of Windows Phone 8.

"I think it will be the surprise of 2013," he ponders. "We're planning to make the most of the opportunity and have a large number of games out on Windows Phone by Q3 2013."

Big pipe

More generally, though, 2013 will see MoMinis building on its position in the market.

"We want to strengthen our already strong position. Our retention rates are five times better than the average, and we want to increase them," he says.

"All the games on PlayScape have done over 500,000 downloads, eight have done over one million, and we've been awarded Top Developer status on Android.

"For all developers, distribution is their key issue and that's exactly what we offer them."



editor-at-large

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at PG.biz which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.

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