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Hot Five: New VC funds for mobile, Turkish investments, and Baby Shark makes a splash in Brawl Stars

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Hot Five: New VC funds for mobile, Turkish investments, and Baby Shark makes a splash in Brawl Stars
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Start your week right with our quick take on the stories that are impacting the mobile industry right now.

To help get you primed and ready for another week in mobile gaming, we’ve curated the biggest stories you need to know from the last seven days.

1) Brawl Stars collabs with YouTube’s most-viewed video Baby Shark

Supercell’s Brawl Stars introduced Baby Shark content in-game last week, bringing The Pinkfong Company’s famous YouTube video characters to the game with a new challenge and in-game skins based on the IP.

Baby Shark is the most-watched video on YouTube with 14 billion views, so adding this highly recognisable name to Brawl Stars is bound to give the game its latest boost. A crossover music video has released online encouraging a crossover of audiences between Supercell’s hit and Pinkfong’s 79.9 million YouTube subscribers.

2) Wargaming co-founder launches $50 million investment fund Mika Games to support mobile studios

Mika Games has launched a $50 million investment fund for the mobile games industry, looking to support soft launches and companies looking to become self-sufficient. Two mobile developers, Hot Siberians and Guli Games, have already received financial backing through this fund.

Wargaming co-founder Nick Katselapov founded Mika Games due in no small part to his deep interest in mobile gaming. The fund has raised 20% of its $50 million target so far.

3) Ludus Ventures invests $1M in Turkish studio Midas Games

Ludus Ventures led a $1 million investment into mobile games developer Midas Games ahead of the launch of the latter’s first games, expected to release in the second half of 2024. These debut titles will be skill-based and competitive.

Midas Games was founded by Hikmet Duran, Mert Ulutaş, Emre Öztürk, Selçuk Korateş, Fatih Karadeniz and İlkim Ülgen. Previously, Duran, Ulutaş and Öztürk worked together at Gigantic Games, while Korateş came from a senior role at Zynga subsidiary Rollic.

4) Merge-2 revenue surges 10% while Match-3 flops by 11%

AppMagic’s latest digest has given insight into the puzzle genre with the latest metrics of Merge-2 and Match-3 games. These include February’s financial results for the subgenres, revealing that Merge-2 is on the up right now while Match-3 is going through a decline.

Merge-2 revenue saw a 10% surge in February and outpaced the uptick seen during the 2023 holiday season, meanwhile Match-3 flopped. The latter went through an 11% revenue fall despite the broader casual market’s "stable earnings during the peak season", as Match-3 downloads fell by an even more extreme 27%.

5) Laton Ventures secures $35 million for games investments in Turkey and beyond

Former Google and startups industry manager Görkem Türk has founded venture capital firm Laton Ventures, raising $35 million to make pre-seed and seed investments into games companies. Such investments will focus on Turkish companies as well as the global industry.

Laton Ventures will also offer operational advisory services in user acquisition, analytics, game design and development, and aims to connect Turkish companies with wider games industry ecosystems. It will cover multiple platforms, though the team’s background is more specifically in mobile games.