Stung by the ouster from the crowdfunding site Kickstarter – apparently “for no stated reason” – Virtual Gaming Worlds (VGW) has hit pay dirt with a $2.5 million Series A round, led by Triple C Consulting, a boutique investment brokerage in Perth.
The Perth startup – which delves into “social gambling” – ascribed its ability to raise money quickly to the explosive growth of the nascent market.
“We stand at the intersection of social games and online gambling, and it’s an exciting place to be,” said Laurence Escalante, founder and CEO of VGW, and winner of Anthill’s 30-under-30 award.
Whatever is social gambling?
It’s quite simple. It’s traditional gambling coupled with social, as we know it today. It’s relatively new and feeds on the recent drive to take everything social. But the problem is: Social gambling is not quite that developed.
Excited analysts are throwing interesting numbers for social casino games. SuperData, an online games research firm, says worldwide revenue from social casino games would hit $2.4 billion in 2015, up from $1.6 billion this year. The Australian market is estimated at $59.8 million this year. Also, on average, a paying user spends $78 per month.
VGW says online gambling, as it stands today, lacks the strong social element, and the social games one comes across from Zynga and Facebook are too simplistic to appeal to real gamblers. Hence, Virtual Gaming.
Plug and play
Escalante’s team has built a social gambling platform called Chumba Casino, which is also available as an app on Facebook.
Chumba Casino is touted as the “world’s first fully integrated virtual world social game platform with a casino-grade backend.” It has 10 games with a full casino suite of Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker, Keno and five exciting slot machines. Many more games are in development, including upcoming poker, bingo and baccarat, besides popular social games.
Using what is called the Chumba World platform, players can build and monetize their own casinos. Eventually, payers will also have the ability to create their own variations of slot machines, table games and virtual casinos inside the platform.
Virtual Gaming plans to use the funds raised to secure its gambling license, expand development and initiate marketing for Chumba Casino and its unique gaming platform for Facebook and mobile devices.