Canadian Startup Raises $700,000 Seed Round to Bring Social Gaming to Emerging Markets

Play It Gaming today announced that it has closed an oversubscribed seed round worth just over $700,000.

The Calgary-based company, which brings social gaming to players in emerging markets, is working in partnership with biNu, to deliver a social gaming experiences—including the ability to place wagers on sporting events—to a base of five million users, predominantly in emerging markets.

BiNu is a cloud-based app platform that enables iPhone-like functionality on feature phones. Which is key for startups targeting the emerging markets in mobile because less than one in seven cellphones worldwide were smart in 2011 and even by the end of 2016, studies suggest less than 40% of all cellphones globally will be smart. There will be more than 5.4 billion feature phones in 2016.

Play It says that it plans to use the capital raised to initiate an extensive user acquisition strategy.

“Right now, smartphone technology is getting all the major headlines but, the reality is, there are currently over five billion underserved feature phone users,” says Play It President Cory Cleveland. “The incredible biNu platform has enabled users of this lower-end mobile technology, predominantly within emerging markets, to access previously unattainable information and services and the desire for this content is enormous.”

“Being able to introduce state-of-the-art social gaming experiences to this platform, and engage with new users from all corners of the globe, is an incredibly exciting prospect,” he added.

“The opportunity to bring social gaming experiences to mobile consumers in emerging markets is massive and the combination of biNu’s mobile technology platform with Play It’s content, focus and industry expertise is a sure winner,” said biNu CEO, Gour Lentell.