Gamification firm aims for global expansion

01 Apr 2018 / 19:51 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Gamification and game development company Gameka aims to have a presence overseas in Australia, Vietnam and the US in order to compete in the international arena.
    “We need to go to Australia. We need to set up a hub in Australia because the gaming world is pushing its attention towards Australian development companies. We will need some presence there, hence the (need for) funding. And I don’t want to lose out in the back-end so we are thinking of branching to Vietnam as well,” said CEO Ho J-Son.
    “The goal is to get into the same pond where the (industry) people are. Once we have presence there, we can really understand what’s happening in the ecosystem, then we can really strategise how we can move. So, those are two of our major plans,” he told SunBiz.
    The Malaysian startup, which was established in December 2015, started out with funding of RM200,000 and broke even within the first fiscal year. Ho said it is now a self-sufficient company and has been generating profit as of 2017.
    “This year, since we came in with TENxCLUB, there has been quite a number of big companies offering to buy in, to help us scale. Previously we were a bit closed, but now we are very open to it. I see this not as a Malaysian market, I see this as competing against the rest of the emerging markets,” he said.
    Ho said it is reviewing several funding options from major local and global investors, and expects to go into the next series of meetings in mid-2018.
    He said securing funding and quickly scaling the company is crucial, as the majority of the game community has shifted its focus from Malaysia to Vietnam, due to a boom in app innovation there following the emergence of the hit game Flappy Bird.
    “They are able to understand the American and the total world mindset, so a lot of major companies are shifting their resources to Vietnam.”
    In order to compete with these players, Ho said Gameka would need to scale quickly and expand into the global market within the next few years.
    He said Gameka has an offer on the table for a significant amount of funding and if the deal goes through, the company would be able to build its presence in both Australia and Vietnam this year, with enough funding to also set up a branch in the US.
    Ho said gamification, which integrates game concepts and principles to improve experiences, increase engagement and enhance education, is very new but is gaining a lot of traction.
    Gamification solutions are expected to grow globally at a compound annual growth rate of 45% from 2016 to 2020.
    “Gamification is very new to the whole world and there are fewer than 15 gamification players worldwide. The closest competitor to us is Playbasis in Thailand. So, it is a struggle to hire people. We have to hire consultants and merge with game designers. A lot of training is required as it is a new market,” he said.
    However, Ho is confident on the outlook for gamification in Malaysia, as companies are excited and want to use gamification solutions in their businesses, especially for marketing.
    “Gamification is very new and there is no use case, so we are educating the companies one step at a time. I believe we can be one of the major players in gamification.”

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