The Odisha-Bangalore and San Francisco based startup BitRhymes is riding high on the glory of their recent game Bingo Bash. The game is one of the most popular titles on Facebook with more than 2 million monthly users in about three months of its launch. The company has also raised A series funding of $1 million backed by Tandem Entrepreneurs, Mark Jung (founder IGN, COO Fox), YuChiang (CEO WGT, VO BizDev IGT), Dan Cooperman (SVP and Legal Counsel Apple, Oracle, IVP).
Launched in early Feb 2008, BitRhymes got its first major traction when they launched casual apps on MySpace around 2009-2010 and then there was no looking back. Thereafter they focused on social games and moved on Facebook.
And amid all this chaos and bustled activity we caught hold of Lalit Patel, Co-Founder, BitRhymes, for a chit chat. Read on.
Pi. Bingo Bash is a casino style game and has attracted huge fan base on Facebook. What do you have to say about it? What are the other games and app BitRhymes is working on?
Br: Bingo Bash is a redesign of the classical game of Bingo which is understood and played all around the world. We have made it more interesting by adding a theme of 7 wonders to it and more exciting by adding new game elements like power-ups and gems to the game. BitRhymes is working on another social casino game and working on making current games available on more devices and languages.
Pi. How was BitRhymes initially funded?
Br: Fortunately for us we started making some money pretty soon from the apps that we launched on Facebook and MySpace and we were already profitable after a few months, so we never took the seed funding.
Pi. What is your revenue model?
Br: We earn revenue from sale of Virtual goods and currency on Facebook and iOS. People pay to buy chips in the game which can be used to play extra rounds of Bingo Game and buy Powerups or gems.
Pi. Can you give me more details about the team?
Br: We are a team of 25 people team including the 3 founders, Sumit, Vikas and me. Sumit and Vikas are based out of the business development centre in the US and I take care of the India Operations from Bangalore.
Pi. Casino and similar products are banned in India. Did this have anything to do with the launch of an online game?
Br: Casino products which offer real money as a reward for gambling are banned in India and also in the US. Bingo Bash only provides virtual rewards which cannot be exchanged for real world money. So it is not illegal.
Pi. You have raised Angel Funding of $1 million. How do you plan to utilize the funds?
Br: We want to scale up our operations and support for the fast growing Bingo Bash, making it available on multiple devices and languages. In addition to that we are ramping up the team for parallel game development.
On the product side we are working on launching the Android Version of the game and plan is to launch translated version of the game on few local markets.
Pi. How do you plan to expand? Where do we see BitRhymes over the next few years?
Br: We are aggressively hiring on all departments and growing our size to meet the demands of the current and future game developments and localization and launch in local markets.
Pi. How is BitRhymes publicized and marketed?
Br: We make our games so that they grow virally over Facebook and people playing are motivated to get their friends in the game as the games become more interesting when you are playing with your friends. Apart from growing virally we also run Facebook ad campaigns to target and acquire specific subset of users
Pi. What has been the traction so far?
Br: The response has been overwhelming for the game so far and we have grown exponentially to 5m Installs in the short time span of 6 months. We have currently 2.2million Monthly Active Users and 400 thousand users playing daily on Facebook. And we have another 80 thousand on iOS devices. On iPad we have already broken into the group of top 25 grossing apps in iPad. And we were 20th top grossing app last week.