French social game developer Kobojo announced a $7.5 million (€5.3 million) first round of funding yesterday led by Endeavour Vision and IDinvest Partners (formerly AGF Private Equity) to put toward an aggressive growth strategy that relies heavily on marketing and regional branches.
Kobojo VP product and strategy Vincent Vergonjeanne tells us in an interview that roughly half of the funding will go toward ad spend and marketing efforts on Facebook. “It could be more,” he says. “We want to accelerate [growth]. We would love to spend the entire [amount] on marketing, but there are other plans.”
Those “other plans” include opening new branches of Kobojo in international territories, the first of which is in Spain. The French developer wants to take a more intimate approach to localizing its games library in foreign territories. Rather than just translating the words within Kobojo games to a region’s local language, Vergonjeanne tells us that the regional branches will run the community management aspect of the game for its region, as well implementing region-specific game promotions or features.
For example, there is an upcoming music festival in France that Kobojo plans to run in-game events around in the coming weeks that will only be visible to players in France. Vergonjeanne wants similar events to run in other regions with close supervision from the regional branch teams of community managers, designers, and artists.
The other plan that Kobojo also plans to spend some of its funding on is a proprietary technology that enables the developer to run its games continuously between Facebook and mobile or tablet platforms. Many social game developers have struggled to accomplish connection between their Facebook games and mobile components of those games, but limitations on technology and Apple’s approvals process have made that difficult. Kobojo has a piece of technology that will allow the developer to port all of its games, starting with the most recently released PyramidVille, to mobile and keep them updated as consistently as its Facebook component.
Kobojo is already hiring for its new branches. Its newest game, PyramidVille, hit Facebook in late January and currently enjoys 1.2 million monthly active users and 248,000 daily active users, according to our social game traffic tracking service, AppData.