Master Investor: Hi Jason and thanks for taking the time to speak with Master Investor. Rooplay has been dubbed “the Netflix of Games”. As CEO at Rooplay Media, can you give our readers a little background on the product and the opportunities that Rooplay is looking to take advantage of?
Jason Williams: Rooplay is a Netflix of Games for kids. The Rooplay app is fast to install but has more than 500 curated games inside. Rooplay has no ads, no in-app purchases, no social networks, and no instant messaging so it’s completely safe for kids.
Rooplay promotes active screen time over passively watching shows as children can explore the games library on their own or play family games on the same device with a friend.
Rooplay is focused on educational games and is committing resources to become a leader in early learning game content. The experts from Ambient Insight predict that worldwide revenue from game-based learning products will see strong growth from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $7.6 billion in 2021.
Our strategy is exactly like Netflix in that we’ve built a platform, we license content, we create exclusive content (“Rooplay Originals” featuring Garfield for instance), and we charge a flat monthly subscription fee.
With a platform strategy you can create long-term customers, recurring revenue, and a competitively defensible position. Furthermore, because we’re a platform, we can scale our distribution through partnership – globally – rather than requiring a large B2C marketing budget.
MI: How is the product performing so far? What are the relevant metrics?
JW: Rooplay launched this April with more than 500 games in 27 languages and we’re off to an amazing start with our first 70,000 downloads coming from our first Google feature placement. Our reviews are strong, game play is increasing daily, and we’re converting a high percentage of traffic to paying subscribers.
Although, the best news is that our partnership strategy is being extremely well received in the market. It is very difficult to build a global product if you have to pay for every new customer. With this knowledge, we built Rooplay so that it could grow quickly in every region of the world through partnership. We have five different strategies to generate traffic that are all working, particularly our B2B offer with mobile carriers worldwide. We have several operators in agreement and have 20+ more in advanced discussions.
Rooplay is a great point of differentiation for mobile operators and those that act first can distribute Rooplay to their customers to test the impact on customer acquisition and retention. We can create a win-win-situation for them whereby mobile operators can get a share of our monthly revenue while offering an innovative new platform to their subscribers.
MI: What inspired you to build Rooplay and what is the long-term vision for the company?
JW: I’m a father of two little girls who love to play games, but it’s a challenge to find good ones. There are so many poor quality apps filled with intrusive advertising that I was inspired to build a system that would work for children and families to play games, have fun, and learn together.
My vision for Rooplay is that when a child sits down after school and picks up a tablet they open Netflix if they want to watch a show, but open Rooplay if they want to play a game.
MI: What is the commercial strategy to take Rooplay global?
JW: The vision for Rooplay has always been global which is why we went live in 27 languages right from the start. We have paying customers from more than 20 countries and are developing the platform and all of the Rooplay Original exclusive games to be multi-language.
Rooplay is an app but it’s also completely web-enabled and we’re building Rooplay.com to be a web platform. We establish partnerships with other platforms, prominent brands, web properties, and mobile networks to distribute Rooplay in partnership globally.
MI: Are there any competing platforms out there and if so, what stage are they at?
JW: There are other systems that offer collections of videos, books and games for children. We’re the only platform that is purely games for kids and we’re the only company that also builds exclusive games for our platform.
We are committed to developing and publishing Rooplay Originals regularly and have more than 10 games pending release over the next two months. We have already launched our first 8 Rooplay Originals featuring Garfield. We’ve also announced our second global brand license with the Moomins to produce a series of exclusive games. Our third brand license is pending announcement and is also very exciting.
MI: Does the company need to raise capital this year? If so, what form will that take?
JW: To scale Rooplay globally we are currently raising capital by doing a private placement of units consisting of common shares at CAD$0.45 and a full warrant enabling the holder to purchase an additional share at CAD$0.55 for the first 6 months after closing or at CAD$0.65 during the second 6 months. We’ve proven every aspect of the business model and feel that to maintain our first mover advantage and capture the market we need to move quickly.
MI: How would interested investors get in touch with you and what are the criteria for investing?
JW: We are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada under the symbol SGW.V and closed at CAD$0.59 last Friday. Our current market cap is approximately CAD$31 million. We have a strong and tight shareholder structure. The current private placement will be the last equity raise we want to do.
Fundamental Research has recently published a research update about Shoal Games with a target price of CAD$1.85. The full report may be obtained at http://investor.shoalgames.com/research.
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