Agave Games is the newest casual gaming startup from Turkey’s hot gaming sector. Check out the 8-slide pitch deck it used to raise $7 million.
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- European investors have been eyeing Istanbul as the next big gaming hub.
- The latest startup to win backing there is Agave Games, which has raised $7 million.
- The Turkish game studio has raised the funds as mobile gaming shows continued growth.
Gaming studio Agave Games has raised a fresh $7 million as it aims to join the ranks of Turkey’s successful gaming startups.
The Istanbul-based startup, founded in 2021 by a group of four high-school friends, raised the funds in a seed round led by European investors Balderton Capital and Felix Capital to boost the development of its first casual puzzle-style game for mobile Apple and Android devices.
“At Agave Games we have the opportunity to capitalize on our vast experience in the mobile gaming industry to create the most wide-spread and long-lasting casual puzzle game on the market,” said Alper Oner, CEO and cofounder at Agave.
European investors see Turkey as a growing hotspot for mobile game development. Mobile developer Peak Games was acquired for $1.8 billion by Zynga in 2020, while Agave backer Balderton has also backed Turkish unicorn Dream Games, which raised $225 million in a Series C round in January at a $2.75 billion valuation. According to data from Newzoo, global revenue for mobile gaming hit $93.2 billion in 2021, up 7.3% year on year.
The Agave investment marks the first for Felix Capital’s Julien Codorniou, who oversaw the creation of Meta’s gaming team in EMEA in 2011 and led the tech giant’s global platform partnerships team to find ways of growing and monetizing partner apps and games.
“The team at Agave have worked on some of the biggest casual puzzle games in the world, and it’s this experience coupled with their hunger for success that makes them an exciting proposition,” Codorniou said.
Casual games of the sort Agave aims to make typically take six to eight months for an initial prototype, with testing then taking place across a similar period. The startup aims to generate revenue through an in-app ad model.
Agave will use the funds to more than triple its headcount from 12 people to around 40 in the next 18 months, as it seeks to hire developers and artists from across Turkey.
The studio will first target gaming markets in the US, Canada, UK and Japan while working to improve the user experience. It is aiming for a 2023 launch for its first game.