With $5M In Its Coffers, Game Publisher Pubgame Sets Its Sights On Southeast Asia

Taiwan-based Web and mobile game publisher Pubgame has raised a Series A round led by Shanghai-based venture capital firm The CID Group and super angel investor appWorks Ventures. Though Pubgame did not disclose the exact amount, when combined with its previous April 2012 angel round of $500,000, Pubgame’s Series A brings its total funding so far to more than $5 million.

Pubgame, which was founded in 2011, will use the funds to expand further into Southeast Asia countries and build a social gaming platform that will allow players to communicate with one another and exchange characters in its role-playing games.

The company’s user base consists mostly of mid-core gamers. Of the 1 million players who have signed up so far, about 60% to 70% are located in Taiwan, 10% to 15% are in Hong Kong and roughly 10% are based in Singapore, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries. Pubgame currently offers 16 titles, with one to two new games added each month.

Founder Ben Tseng hopes Pubgame’s growth strategy will help it double to triple its revenue this year. He is especially enthusiastic about Thailand and Malaysia because social gaming is popular in those countries and players are more willing to make in-game purchases. Pubgame says its in-game payrate is 5% to 8%, while its ARPPU (average revenue per paying user) is a generous $100 per month. The company targets male players between the ages of 25-40 because they have more spending power than players in their teens and early twenties. Tseng says many of Pubgame’s top customers own small businesses, such as restaurants or stores, and play games to pass the time while waiting for customers during off-peak hours.

Thailand and Malaysia’s gaming markets remind Tseng of Taiwan’s 3-5 years ago, he says, which fuels his belief that Pubgame’s team has the expertise to leverage growth opportunities in those two countries. The company has partnered with leading Chinese game developers, including 37wan, Yaowan, 7Road and Forgame, who want to expand into Southeast Asia.

“Entering overseas markets is not easy for them and as a Taiwan-based company we know the market much more than they do,” says Tseng.