One of the largest social gaming companies in Japan, Gumi, announced Monday that it pocketed 2 billion yen ($25.7 million) in a Series F round of funding from investors such as JAFCO, DJB Capital, Nissei Capital and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.
Gumi has gained attention across the globe since it has touted that the company makes more than $6 million per month and continues to see more growth.
Gumi gained wider attention from US gaming companies when it partnered with EA to release FIFA World Class Soccer to the GREE platform in Japan.
As the San Francisco-based start-up Zynga inches closer to it IPO, Japanese social and mobile gaming companies have been looked to because of their higher rate of monetization.
While Zynga has seen a decrease in the rate of growth in social gamers on its platforms, companies working on the Japanese GREE system have seen growth in its user base and the revenue brought in by its players. If you think about GREE as a social gaming platform similar to what developers partnering with Facebook are doing, companies like Gumi split revenue from digital goods with GREE for the benefit of working on its platform.
Zynga has had trouble transitioning to platforms outside of its stronghold on Facebook to get substantial revenue on the mobil front, but Gumi has illustrated that, at least in the Japanese market, mobile social gaming can be extremely lucrative, especialluy on the GREE mobile platform.
Zynga has many obtained more users worldwide than Gree (227 million monthly actives for Zynga against GREE's 27 million), but GREE has been able to prove that it can monetize its mobile at a staggering rate. GREE’s revenues are 25% higher with only 10% of the user-base (close to $400 million to Zynga's $300 million.)
Unlike Facebook (though not for long), GREE is a publicly traded company in Japan TYO: JP: 3632 closed at 2,523 yen, up one-third of a percent for the day.
GREE is also a major investor in Gumi which equate to a 20% stake in the company.
The, roughly 140 employee operation, currently has eight games in the market, including Pirate Wars, Yakuza Wars, and FIFA World Class Soccer.
With 10 million registered users in Japan, and 1 million active users per month, Gumi is seeing an average monthly revenue from its players of $2.50 to $4.00 -- but, as with most social games, some players fork over more than $50 a month in virtual goods.