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Homa raises $100m to give indie game developers a leg up

The startup has also partnered with blockchain-based gaming company Sorare as it looks to invest in Web3 experiences

By Tim Smith in Barcelona

Paris-based game development platform Homa has raised a $100m Series B round, to improve on its technology that helps indie gaming studios compete with bigger and better-funded rivals. The round was co-led by Qaudrille Capital and Headline. 

Who else invested in Homa?

  • Northzone — A leading European early-stage VC, based in London with offices in New York and the Nordics.
  • Fabric Ventures — London-based VC specialising in crypto and Web3 investments.
  • Bpifrance — French public investment bank, which supports startups from seed stage through to IPO. 
  • Eurazeo — Paris-based investment group working across private equity, real estate and startups of all sizes.
  • Singular — Paris-based VC firm founded in 2021 investing in early-stage startups across Europe.

What does Homa do?

Homa’s product Homa Labs is an all-in-one development tool for people building games for mobile. It allows users to build, test, improve and monetise their games using a single platform, and the company says that it speeds up development time from months or years to a matter of weeks.

Homa claims that these tools give independent developers the ability to compete with multimillion-dollar studios, by allowing them access to the data and product testing tools that normally only bigger companies would have.

Developers can either build their games using Homa’s software development kit, or plug pre-existing games into their data and market analytics technology later on in the process.

Homa makes money by splitting the revenue generated from in-game advertising and purchases with games studios and developers.

Founded in 2018, the company currently employs more than 160 people and, to date, games built on the platform have been downloaded more than 1bn times. 

Brice Delome, partner at Quadrille Capital, says that Homa “empowers independent developers globally to reach the production and marketing capabilities of large studios” and that the tech is helping to “democratise” mobile game development. 

More than 80 titles have been built and released using Homa’s technology, including Merge Master, a strategy game that’s topped download charts since launching in January 2022.

This year Homa also announced a partnership with Sorare, which saw it bring the blockchain-based gaming company’s “legends cards” to mobile for the first time. Homa will now use the fresh capital to invest in blockchain technology to help developers build games for Web3.

What’s the market like?

Homa is just one of many European startups building tools to help game developers create and ship titles. Others that have raised money this year include LootLocker, Soba and Return Entertainment.

Homa differentiates itself through the all-in-one technology that lets users build, test and monetise games in the platform, as well as through its focus on mobile gaming.

Mobile was the gaming sector that drew the most VC investment in the first half of 2022, and has long been seen as low-hanging fruit for VCs, given that more people own smartphones than gaming consoles.

Sifted’s take

Homa has quickly established itself as a go-to development software for mobile games in its four years of operating. The inclusion of user and market testing in its platform is likely a big reason for its popularity, given that a tiny proportion of mobile games find any kind of success on crowded app stores.

The company’s foray into Web3 and blockchain also puts it front and centre of the latest VC-hyped trend in video games, with many people predicting that the play-to-earn model will be the next big thing in mass-market gaming.

Like anything connected to Web3 though, it’s yet to be seen exactly what this next iteration of the internet is going to look like, or whether consumers will really want to engage with digital assets or other experiences on the blockchain.

While the company’s decision to invest in Web3 might be a bit of a punt though, mobile gaming doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. With more and more games being produced for app stores, tools like Homa’s will stand out to smaller developers looking to give their ideas the best chance of success.

Tim Smith is Sifted’s Iberia correspondent. He tweets from @timmpsmith 

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