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May 21, 2015 5:50 EST

Friendbase AB: the place for young teenagers to chat, meet and hang out with old and new friends, play games and cultivate pets, furnish their apartments, join events and much more

iCrowdNewswire - May 21, 2015

Friendbase AB

A million friends in your pocket!

Friendbase aims to be the place for young teenagers to chat, meet and hang out with old and new friends, play games and cultivate pets, furnish their apartments, join events and much more.

What we want to create

With Friendbase we have created a place where young teenagers can chat, meet and hang out with old and new friends, play games and cultivate pets, design and furnish their own apartments, join in music and fashion events and much more.

We want Friendbase to become the next level online playground, where virtual avatar chat meets messenger service meets chat/create/play online.

1,2 million members

Where are we now and where are we going:

We have taken the initial product from idea to released product with over 1,2 million members in only one year (80% being girls 14-20) using only social media and viral spread, no paid advertising or PR and with a retention rate of approx. 30% and with iOS users spending an average of 55 min/day on Friendbase! Compared to other games that are spending millions of dollars our key metrics are close to amazing.

Our focus lies on emerging markets with the goal to become a dominant player by 2017 with a user base of at least 20 million users. (South America, Russia, Middle East, Asia). That doesn’t mean that we are excluding mature markets, but we won’t break our back trying to make it in the US as a first market.

In order to ensure good retention, we are looking for collaboration with content partners in order to provide a continuous creation of new content for our users, content like events, sponsored goods, educational services, music, fashion and more.

Friendbase is the world’s first truly cross-platform chat world and messenger service, where cell phone users can seamlessly interact with computer users.

  • Friendbase is designed to function fully on low end smartphones enabling all users to participate.

  • Cross-platform – seamless web mobile interaction.

  • Cross cultural – speak to anyone from any country.

Roadmap

Roadmap for the next 12 months:

  • Spring 2015: Release our own Friendbase user accounts, today it is Facebook connect only. Allowing non-Facebook users to sign up will dramatically accelerate user growth and spread, especially amongst mobile users. It is the one most asked for feature amongst potential users, that they don’t have Facebook and want to be able to sign up anyway. This will also increase revenue, since mobile users have a higher conversion rate.

  • Early summer 2015: Friendbase Messenger, we are releasing our own messenger service that will work seamlessly within Friendbase as well as standalone.

  • Autumn 2015; Our integrated Statistics Tool that will greatly support the business development in making strategic decisions.

What others are saying:

Testimonial “Friendbase is a very exciting new product in the social gaming segment. The experienced team of developers have successfully built a cross platform product packed with content, games and social functions. Reaching over one million users without any marketing is impressive and it will be very interesting to see Friendbase continue their growth.”

Carl Bjerkne, Business development expert within the social gaming sector and former business developer for King.com

The problem we are solving

Friendbase started out as a Facebook application with the idea to enable people to meet new friends on Facebook in a user friendly and fun way, since there were (are) no neutral meeting places where you can meet new friends. On Facebook you mainly meet people you already know. There are both dating sites as well as messenger apps out there, but we wanted to create something new, and by creating Friendbase we gave Facebook users a neutral online place to hang, a place where you can meet people from all over the world without having to friend them on Facebook first.

The Market

The global gaming market was worth approx. $81,5 Bn in 2014 and is expected to grow to $102,9 Bn usd 2017. Huge numbers that are hard to grasp but here are a couple of break-downs;

  • Mobile platforms will have the largest growth and is expected to be 34% of the total market in 2017
  • Emerging markets predicted to have very high growth in mobile gaming (+60%)

The competition in the gaming industry is really fierce. Many apps that are released, although being great games, never see a commercial success or even any downloads. We are therefore very proud of what we have accomplished with no advertising. Friendbase is a hybrid between social networking, messaging and casual gaming..

Some examples of competitors that in different segments are:

Social networking: Habbo Hotel, Our World, Star Stable, Stardoll Messaging: Snapchat, Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik Casual gaming: King, Zynga, Supercell, Social Point

Friendbase is found somewhere in between these categories; a social networking app with casual gaming built in and a messenger service that works both in-game as well as stand-alone. One of our winning formulas is that we first built a popular and one-of-a-kind mobile chat service, and then added games and content, as opposed to other that first build a game, and then try to add on a chat / community dimension to try to keep people online. Their users are there to play or build, not to chat, our users are here to chat and meet, but can also play and build!

Business Model

The core revenue stream is In-app purchases (buy new looks, accessories, pets, games, custom packs of emojis/emoticons), but there are a number of complimentary revenue streams as well:

  • Advertisements (watch ads get Gems for in app purchases)
  • Sponsorships (rooms that have paid sponsors)
  • Events (music, fashion, sport – launches and promotional events)
  • Extended profiles with media archive for storing selfies

The important key ratios for Friendbase are retention and conversion rate. Retention being how long a user stays with us, conversion being how many free users convert to paying for content.

The model is simple – more graphic elements to buy and more mini-games to play increases conversion rate and retention.

By being able to create you own accounts (no Facebook profile needed) we will be able to get more traffic from mobile phone users, users that have a higher conversion rate and retention rate.

With more resources for analysis and “tweaks” we will be able to create more incentives for retention and higher conversion rate.

Also, we think that the messenger service will help keep retention rates high.

The Funding

We are now in the process of taking in capital and aim to raise 1 MUSD before the end of the year. In the interim, we need bridge financing in order not to lose the momentum we have in developing crucial added functionality. We are matching the loan applied for through FundedByMe with a soft loan from Almi.

These are our detailed goals with the funding:

  • Increase production & content release rate, this will increase retention through longer lasting content

  • Own accounts (remove Facebook requirement)

  • Integrated messenger service

  • Increased community management (today 2 staff on part time)

  • Encourage the community to create (even more) own events

  • Initiate marketing campaign focused on emerging markets (cost effective & has strong viral potential)

Source: Newzoo/Applift Oct 2014
Source: Newzoo/Applift Oct 2014
TEAM

Andreas Rehnberg

CTO

Andreas has over 20 years of experience in developing successful online games and apps. As a pioneer in the social gaming market Andreas started his own online gaming community and virtual chatworld Playdo.com in 1999. He has also been selling games and online experiences to clients such as Adidas, H & M, Panasonic, L’Oréal, Schibsted, MTV Networks, Miniclip and Electronic Arts. Since 2011 Andreas has successfully been launching his own games for iOS and Android with millions of players.

Deborah B Lygonis

CEO

Deborah is serial-entrepreneur and business consultant, with past startups that include Romelix (children’s game publisher), Craft Animations (software for 3D animation), The Fitness Internet, Refind Technologies and more.

Donnie SC Lygonis

Concept and business development

Donnie is currently Technology Transfer Manager at KTH Innovation, past startups include Romelix, Playdo, Lohilo, The Fitness Internet and more.

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