Another one of Zynga’s recent departures has landed.
Wilson Kriegel, who was OMGPOP’s chief revenue officer until the Draw Something maker was acquired for $210 million in cash and retention, is taking a president and chief operating officer role at New York-based Paltalk. He left Zynga, which bought OMGPOP earlier this year and he followed a slew of other executives who have left the ailing social gaming company.
Paltalk, a video chat service, has had a very low profile for years, but the company has remained profitable and hasn’t taken funding since a $6 million round from SoftBank eight years ago. It has 150 million registered users (though no disclosed numbers on monthly actives). Paltalk is a video chat community that offers free group video calls and chats. Kriegel says that more than 20 million streams are viewed a day through Paltalk and the average log-in time is 61 minutes per session.
“This company is generating tens and tens of millions of dollars in revenue every year,” Kriegel said. “It’s highly profitable, and its business model is in subscriptions, virtual currency and advertisement. My gaming background is exactly in that.”
At Paltalk, Kriegel will oversee usability and user and revenue growth with the compnay’s premium and in-app currency services. The company makes money when users send virtual gifts to each other or when they sign up for subscriptions that get rid of pop-up or banner ads and allow more simultaneous video windows.
Like many other founders or executives Zynga has acquired over the years, Kriegel is leaving the gaming industry entirely.
“I wasn’t seeing anything that wasn’t differentiated,” Kriegel said. “Beyond companies like Kixeye and Supercell, there aren’t really a lot of market makers. There’s not a lot of differentiation on the content side, and we’re in a down cycle which started — at least in perception — because of Zynga.”
Other acquired Zynga founders like Siqi Chen and Roger Dickey are working on non-gaming concepts, while others like Nabeel Hyatt and Robin Chan have crossed over into the venture side.
While Kriegel wasn’t a co-founder at OMGPOP, he was with the startup through the extensively difficult time before the company found a hit on the iOS platform in Draw Something. He said he didn’t want to take time off.
“I’ve never spent more than a couple weeks not working and I’m a dad now. That changes perspective on what matters,” he said. “I didn’t feel that not working would be a valuable use of my time.”