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MoMinis raises $6M for mega game portal on Android

MoMinis, an Israeli mobile-game firm that reaches 35 million people via its mega portal on Android devices, has raised $6 million in a second round of funding from Gemini Israel Ventures.

A year ago, Tel Aviv-based MoMinis launched PlayScape, a “mega-game” with a bunch of titles inside one free Android app. PlayScape offers a uniform cross-game experience and allows you to carry experience points and virtual currency accumulated from one release to another. Individuals have downloaded more than 15 million games in the past three months.

The cross-title features encourage players to try out more offerings, which helps developers with the critical problem of discovery. In the huge Android Market with hundreds of thousands of options, it isn’t easy to get noticed. So developers benefit from something like the MoMinis PlayScape mega-game. The app and the games are free, but players can pay for virtual goods within them. MoMinis provides free development tools, marketing, and distribution.

PlayScape has 5.5 million monthly active gamers, 1 million daily active participants, and about 100,000 downloads per day. The company launched with 50 games a year ago, and now it says it has nearly 100 in development in 18 countries.

“In the current mobile-gaming climate where apps come and go, MoMinis’ mega-game model is well-poised for longevity,” said Menashe Ezra, managing partner at Gemini Israel Ventures. “The company has exhibited long-term growth from its catalog of titles, and this investment will allow the company to expand on its existing programs and provide new opportunities for both game developers and consumers.”

Itzik Frid, chief executive of MoMinis, said the group plans to use the funding to scale up its efforts and find new ways hang onto consumers and enable them to discover more new releases. It will also expand to the iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Facebook.

“We are very excited about how our relationship with Gemini will play into our new stage of growth,” said Frid. “With the huge network and strong position that we have in leading markets, MoMinis can move to the next evolutionary stage and leverage our unique differentiators and model of providing both developers and gamers with the ultimate mobile offering.”

It’s akin to the old arcades where players bought tokens. They would enjoy their favorite game, but then they would use the leftover tokens to try out something new. MoMinis previously raised $4.9 million from BRM Capital and Mitsui Ventures. The company started in 2008 and has 25 employees. Rival publishers include Gameloft and Glu Mobile. The venture funding round is still open to other investors.

Rivals include DeNA/Ngmoco, iSwifter, and others making meta-game layers. MoMinis also competes with GameSalad, Unity Technologies, and others making game-development tools.

Founders include Tzach Hadar, chief technology officer and a former member of an intelligence unit of the Israeli Defense Force. Marketing chief Eyal Rabinovich is a seasoned engineer who previously worked at Hegde-Tech Financial Engineering and Lipman Electronic Engineering. Zvi Rabinovich, co-founder, is vice president of research and development. Aviv Revach is the firm’s fourth co-founder.

“With its unique technology for developers and massive cross-game activity, MoMinis has dramatically scaled in the last 10 months,” added Eran Barkat, Partner at BRM Group. “Its business model based on independent developers and its solution for them is revolutionary. This round will enable the company to expand and broaden its developer community and enter new platforms.”


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