BitRhymes, the San Francisco-gaming startup behind a bingo game that has attracted about 400,000 daily active users on Facebook, has raised $1 million in angel funding.
BitRhymes’ rise comes at an interesting cross-roads for casino-style games on the Facebook platform. Not only are they becoming more popular, considering last month’s release of Zynga Slingo, a combination of slots and bingo, there’s also a chance they could become much more lucrative if the regulatory environment changes. Back in December, the Justice Department also issued a legal opinion that may open the door to certain kinds of legal online gambling in the U.S., a new market opportunity that social gaming companies including Zynga are exploring.
Aiming squarely at female gamers, BitRhymes is behind Bingo Bash. It was a game that was quietly launched last June and then picked up momentum in the fall by adding more than 2 million monthly active users (see the chart below with usage data from tracking service AppData). The company took funding from IGN founder Mark Jung, World Golf Tour chief executive Yu Chiang, former general counsel of Apple and Oracle Dan Cooperman and Doug Bergeron, the chief executive of VeriFone. The company came out of mobile accelerator Tandem Capital, which has also been behind other gaming-related startups like Gimmie.
With the funding, BitRhymes is planning to localize the game for different markets by making it available in 10 languages. It’s also putting more fuel behind mobile versions of the game after the release of Bingo Bash HD for the iPad. BitRhymes says that players who use the game on both iOS and Facebook generate three times the revenue of users on a single platform.