This is a figure that speaks volumes: a few weeks ago, Homa Games crossed the symbolic bar of 500 million games downloaded on mobile. If the name of this French publisher is unknown to the general public, its games (“Nerf Epic Pranks!”, “Tower Color”, “Sky Roller”, “Craft Island”, “Border Control”, etc.) have taken over. used to climb in the first places the application stores of Apple (App Store) and Google (Play Store) because of their addictive nature.
An insolent success that has not gone unnoticed by investors. In February, the nugget had raised $ 15 million in a seed round – a rare amount at this stage of development.
Seven months later, Homa Games announced that it had completed a round of funding of $ 50 million in series A led by the Northzone fund, which made its first investment in France on this occasion. Singular has also beaten up, as have historical investors Homa Games, Headline and Eurazeo.
A platform that helps studios
The French start-up has developed a technological platform that helps video game studios detect new trends, develop ideas, conduct real-time tests with users in order to improve gameplay, develop a monetization strategy and launch the games in the right tempo. “We make all stages of creation productive”, underlines Daniel Nathan, the boss and founder of Homa Games. “The goal is for any studio to be able to make a hit that can be downloaded hundreds of millions of times. “
The start-up works with 400 studios around the world – and owns three – and is riding the “no code” revolution, which has made video game creation easier and less expensive thanks to the Unity development platform, which is widely used. by independent developers. “Most of our games are created in less than eight days,” observes the entrepreneur. A very fast production cycle which has enabled the company to launch around forty games since its founding in 2018. Twenty more are due out by the end of the year …
Homa Games games are free, but contain advertising or paid bonuses. The start-up has an economic model based on revenue sharing with its partner studios. “If the game works, we make money. If that doesn’t work, we lose some, ”summarizes Daniel Nathan, who previously founded BidMotion.
Popularity of hypercasual games
Homa Games has chosen to position itself in the segment of “hypercasual” games which have simple gameplay, reach a large audience and allow play for short periods (sometimes one to two minutes!). Those who manage to make it into the Top 10 most downloaded games can generate very comfortable income.
The French start-up is also at the origin of a sub-genre called “Arcade Idle”, of which the game “Farm Land” is the symbol. “The game sessions on ‘Farm Land’ last 40 or 50 minutes,” insists Daniel Nathan. Convinced of the potential of this sub-genre, Homa Games brought seven to the market in one semester.
The fundraising of 50 million dollars will allow the young French growth to significantly accelerate its development. “We are creating a new industry”, slips the leader, who plans to make several acquisitions in the coming months, to recruit a hundred employees and to improve its technological platform.
Execution will be crucial as competition is fierce in mobile video gaming. And is sometimes settled even in the courts. Homa Games has just ordered Voodoo, the French unicorn in the sector valued at 1.7 billion euros, to pay it 200,000 euros for “commercial parasitism”. Voodoo appealed.
Strong growth market
Investors are ready to hatch the nuggets of mobile video games because the market is very buoyant. It reached nearly $ 100 billion worldwide last year and could rise to $ 272 billion in 2030, according to Global Data.
In addition to “pure players” (AppLovin, CrazyLabs, Voodoo), tech heavyweights (Tencent, Google, Facebook) and traditional video game players are also mobilizing significant resources to be the kings of mobile video games. “It is not a market which obeys the logic of ‘winner takes all’. There may be several big ones, ”says Daniel Nathan. Homa Games is now armed to be one of them.