Tel Aviv-based Soomla, a free open-source startup for mobile game developers announced that it raised $5.5 million in a Series A round from an undisclosed online gaming company, with the goal of building the first cross-game data sharing network.

Soomla also announced the launch of the Whales Report, which provides mobile game developers and marketers the ability to leverage the free platform by identifying paying users, commonly referred to as “whales.” Game publishers who opt-in share data from their game with the network and in return get insights about users who paid in other games. Spotting paying users early on, and the ability to convert more players by learning about their behavior in other games, turns the retention economics on its head.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj4x8GInMfE]

“Think about your game’s seventh day retention. You lost a lot of users, but many of them actually paid in other games,” says co-founder and CEO Yaniv Nizan. “We know exactly who these payers are and how much they pay, so we can put a number on how much money is left on the table,” continues Nizan.

The Whales Report is based on the premise of data sharing and crowdsourcing. Developers can gain access to the platform by agreeing to share data back with others in the network. The company anticipates that this model will drive the product to viral growth, as each game that joins enriches the dataset for everyone else.

A recent report from app marketing firm Swrve shows that 0.15% of mobile gamers account for 50% of all in-game revenue. Ironically, in an industry that is so dependent on whales, there are no means for identifying these lucrative users. Soomla is bridging this gap by combining data from thousands of companies. “Our approach is that gaming companies have a lot more to gain by sharing resources. Both our open source framework and the GROW network are based on that realization,” says Nizan.

Unlike existing solutions that track data in only one game, the data platform developed by Soomla analyzes user behavior across a whole network of games. Developers who opt-in gain actionable insights from other games, not only theirs.

“We’re committed to building communities around technology,” explains Gur Dotan, co-founder and VP Marketing at Soomla. “We’ve seen 10x value for developers collaborating on code, and we’re re-creating that synergy around in-game data.”

Soomla’s journey began three years ago when its three co-founders Yaniv Nizan, Gur Dotan and Refael Dakar, noticed inefficiencies in the way mobile games were being developed. Free-to-play was on the rise with in-app purchase as the leading monetization strategy, yet all developers were building their monetization logic from scratch. The company created the Soomla Store SDK to simplify in-app purchase and adoption took off instantly. Since then, the store SDK has evolved into the Soomla framework, a full technology suite which interweaves in-app purchase, level design and social sharing to create engaging and monetizing games. Today the framework is backed by a thriving community of worldwide developers, all sharing the same goal of standardizing mobile game development.

Founded in Israel in 2012, Soomla’s mission is to drive game developers’ success with technology and data. Its market leading SDK powers over 4,000 live games reaching 400 million devices globally, according to the company. Soomla’s data platform employs cutting edge machine learning models capable of segmenting users and analyzing granular behavior across games. The company’s open source products are actively supported by mobile game developers who believe in the power of collaboration. The startup prides itself on cultivating a unique technology-driven culture.

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