Calgary-based social game developers Play It Gaming is announcing its “oversubscribed round” of seed financing for $700,000. The startup social gaming experiences, including the ability to place wagers on the most hotly anticipated global sporting events, to an active, existing base of 5 million users, the vast majority of which are in emerging markets.
It also announced a partnership with Australian startup biNu, an app that gives basic mobile feature-phones fast, cheap and easy access to Internet services and apps.
“Right now, smartphone technology is getting all the major headlines but, the reality is, there are currently over 5 billion underserved feature phone users,” said Play It president Cory Cleveland. “The incredible biNu platform has enabled users of this lower-end mobile technology, predominantly within emerging markets, to access previously unattainable information and services and the desire for this content is enormous. Being able to introduce state-of-the-art social gaming experiences to this platform, and engage with new users from all corners of the globe, is an incredibly exciting prospect.”
There’s not much information on Play It Gaming’s site or on the net thus far, but we know that Calgary-based startup Slyce‘s CEO is Cameron Chell, who is a ‘partner’ at Plat It Gaming. Chell and Slyce announced a $2.2 million convertible debenture funding round last week.
Play It Gaming is motivated by the fact that the ‘non-Smartphone installed base expected to reach 5.41 billion as of end 2016′. And figures estimated for the emerging market are no joke: its why Apple came out with its ‘5C’ model, for nations (like India) in which more people have mobile phones than access to electricity. It’s a huge market opportunity where companies are going after quantity of sales and not quality in price. Less than one in seven ‘handsets’ were smartphones at the end of 2011, while by the end of 2016 that ratio is expected to drop down to two in five.
A release stated that Play It will use the funding to initiate an “extensive user acquisition strategy”. It said this will come by “extending partnerships” with global affiliate networks and large-scale marketing, initially within Latin America, Asia and Africa.
“We’re excited to be working with the Play It team,” said biNu CEO, Gour Lentell. “The opportunity to bring social gaming experiences to mobile consumers in emerging markets is massive and the combination of biNu’s mobile technology platform with Play It’s content, focus and industry expertise is a sure winner.”