BitRhymes On Track For $45M In Annual Revenue On The Strength Of Virtual Bingo

If you had to take a guess at what has been at or near the top-grossing spot in the U.S. iPad App Store for the past month without looking, I’d bet a bingo simulator wouldn’t be high on your list. But India’s BitRhymes has proven that in fact users are interested in playing good old-fashioned bingo on their ultra-modern iPad devices, and revealed to TechCrunch that it’s currently tracking to realize an annual run rate of $45 million in revenue on the back of its premiere title, Bingo Bash for Facebook, iPad and iPhone.

That one of the best-performing social games on the App Store and Facebook right now isn’t from someone like Zynga is a sign that there’s still plenty of opportunity to be had in this space, but that it might be best explored by peering into corners that don’t immediately seem like winners. Bingo is traditionally seen as a game for octogenarians, but BitRhymes’ CEO Sumit Gupta said in an interview that surprisingly, there’s been lots of interest from younger demographics, and users have predominantly been women.

Both Gupta and lead investor Doug Renert of Tandem capital said that there looks to be a huge opportunity here in terms of transitioning from online social gaming to real-money casino play. That’s an area that Zynga seems interested in approaching, too, having recently partnered with RocketPlay to take social sports betting to Facebook. Gupta says that while Zynga and others seem to be taking a watch-and-wait approach pending passing of U.S. law that would make social real-money gambling perfectly legal.

BitRhymes has had good initial success, but the challenge will be the same one that every social gaming company faces: coming up with a successor to early successful titles that continues to push the needle in terms of user interest and revenue growth. That’s something that’s stopped Zynga in its tracks, and after Bingo, it’s unclear where BitRhymes will move next, though the company says it has its next release planned, but isn’t yet sharing any info.