Profitable Animoca’s “Android App Supermarket” strategy pays off


By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Hong Kong’s Animoca has carved itself out a profitable niche on Android thanks to a slightly unorthodox business strategy.

While most mobile developers aim for a new release every three to four months, Animoca will release dozens of titles in that time frame. The company’s goal isn’t just to become a top mobile developer, but to be seen as an “app supermarket” — a destination that offers an enormous and varied catalogue of goods.

“What we’d like to do is push out an app a day. We want to have an app out there for every single person, whether they’re two years old or a senior citizen,” explains Sunny Cha, Animoca’s senior manager of marketing and corporate development.

According to Cha, the company’s target is to have a catalogue of more than 400 apps available by the end of the year, split between its main gaming business and its edutainment subdivision, Baby Cortex. The company currently has over 300 apps available worldwide, and plans to release another 60 before 2013.

A division of another Hong Kong company called Outblaze Ventures, Animoca currently employs more than 150 people between multiple studios in Hong Kong and South Korea to develop its titles. Animoca also publishes select titles, and although 90 percent of its games are produced in-house, Cha tells us Animoca wants to move further into publishing in order to bolster its catalogue.

While the company is based in Asia, Cha tells us Animoca’s userbase is also evenly distributed all over the world. “We see about 30 percent of our users in North America, 30 percent in Europe, 30 percent in Asia and 10 percent elsewhere,” she says.  The company’s revenue split is similar to its user split, but is typically between 10 and 15 percent higher in Asia — something that Animoca credits to it focus on quality assurance. The company tests endlessly to ensure its titles will run seamlessly on the hundreds of Android devices commonly used in the region, which in turn increases average revenue per user (ARPU) and average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU).

Although Animoca has a rocky relationship with iOS — Apple removed the company’s games from its platform in January, something Animoca blames on the behavior of some of its former third-party marketing providers — the company is currently profitable thanks to its business on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

“In terms of revenue, what we lost on iOS, we’ve pretty much gained all of it back on Android because we have so many apps and so many users,” says Cha.

So far, Animoca  has racked up over 80 million downloads and 45 million players, but  doesn’t break out its monthly or daily active user counts. It is backed by an undisclosed amount of funding from Intel Capital and IDG-Accel.