Yodo1 Gets $5 Million in Funding From Singtel Innov8, Helps Games Crack the China Market
Steven Millward | On April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am
Monetizing games might be a breeze in South Korea and Japan, but it’s always a struggle in China. That’s why Beijing-based Yodo1 says it’s doing well by helping overseas developers to publish and distribute their games in mainland China. Indeed, Yodo1 is announcing today that it has wrapped up $5 million in series A funding led by SingTel Innov8. There’s also participation from previous investor, the Changyou Fund, which 10 months earlier ploughed in $2 million in seed funding.
Yodo1 is a game development studio in its own right, and it does a lot more than just peddle others’ games to Chinese smartphone owners. It actually co-produces the China-market versions of its clients games, getting access to the code so as to add graphics, music, and virtual items especially for local gamers.
In today’s announcement – via the team at TechCrunch – Yodo1 CEO Henry Fong says that it has 25 million active Chinese players of its clients’ titles, such as Defiant Development’s Ski Safari, and XMG’s Powder Monkeys. For fun, I made a collage of the Chinese and international versions of Powder Monkeys (pictured below) to compare and contrast the styles.
The funding will be used, Henry says, to “expand Yodo1′s production capacity […] and build the company’s platform and production team.” Referencing telco SingTel and possible future expansion, he added:
Emerging markets such as China and Southeast Asia represent the most exciting prospects for mobile games developers, with close to one billion mobile subscribers migrating from feature phones to smartphone handsets over the next two years. [For that reason,] the SingTel Group is a perfect partner for Yodo1, with over 450 million mobile subscribers across Southeast Asia and other high growth emerging markets, and growing.
China currently has about 160 million active Android users, and 85 million on iOS, representing a massive mobile gaming market that could easily grow to half a billion potential smartphone gamers by next year.