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Huuuge Games came late to social casino games, launching its Huuuge Casino in late 2015. But the company has carved out a niche in the $4 billion global market.
Anton Gauffin, CEO of the Palo Alto, California-based company, said in an interview that the company will hit about $150 million revenues in 2017. That puts it at about No. 9 in the market, behind leaders such as Playtika, Scientific Games, Zynga, IGT, and Aristocrat. The latter just acquired Big Fish Games for $990 million from Churchill Downs, combining the No. 5 and No. 6 companies in the space.
That could put pressure on Huuuge, but Gauffin isn’t deterred. His company has grown to 300 employees, and it recently raised $50 million in funding. Huuuge has grown because it has tried to make the “most social” casino game, and it has targeted younger players with its advertising.
“Playtika and Scientific Games have been active on the M&A front,” Gauffin said. “But we were not interested in selling Huuuge. We felt that it was too early and we had a massive opportunity in front of us. We were far from done with our vision.”
Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation.
Above: Anton Gauffin, CEO of Huuuge Games, at Casual Connect Europe. Latest usa casino no deposit bonus codes 2018.
GamesBeat: You had your news about the $50 million raise. Could you explain that first, and talk about where you are as a company?
Anton Gauffin: We started working on the deal around the last GDC. We realized we had a good thing going on. Our plan was working, and it still is. We started thinking, “What next?” We felt it was early, and we had so much gas left in the tank that we would have plenty of opportunities to sell the company. Playtika and Scientific Games have been active on the M&A front. But we were not interested in selling Huuuge. We felt that it was too early and we had a massive opportunity in front of us. We were far from done with our vision. We ended up raising almost $50 million.
GamesBeat: Why does the company need that much money? Why do you need such a large team? You’re more than 300 people now.
Gauffin: The scale at which we operate has grown a lot. You can see that from AppAnnie. We’re doing more than $150 million in revenue this year, and we’re investing a lot in marketing. We did early stage/seed funding, and then we had A and B rounds. Before this round, though, we only raised $10 million all in all or so. We had all sorts of challenges because of that. We had to work with Facebook to get the credit lines up and deal with all those practical issues in scaling, because we didn’t have enough money in the bank. We needed more cash to increase our marketing scale. That’s a big part of the reason.
Second, we believe that in the long run, it’s all about bringing more product innovation to the market. Instead of being all in on Huuuge Casino, we’ve been actively building new games and doing our best to bring more innovation to the market. Part of the investment is going into new products that we were already working on. We wouldn’t have had sufficient marketing bandwidth to release those games when they become ready if we hadn’t raised the additional funding.
Above: Social casino games were a $1.16 billion market in the third quarter alone.
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As far as team size, there are different approaches that different companies use to succeed in mobile gaming today. But in our case, at least—there’s the production team that builds the products and features for our games. We have a fairly large team powering that, doing business intelligence and all sorts of analysis regarding different experiments, from A/B tests to other things we do to continuously test. We’re very>12View All