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Tango $25M games fund opens for business


Tango
Tim Ferguson

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US-based messaging app maker Tango announced a $25 million games fund for developers as it looks to continue to expand the number of titles available on its platform.

The Tango Global Games Fund will mainly support the company’s publishing strategy, in which it promotes games through its messaging platform and through other marketing channels. It could also include investments, including acquisitions.

Tango launched a third-party SDK just over a year ago, providing APIs and social features such as leaderboards, friend lists, gifting and invites, for developers to integrate into their products. It also has a store.

Uri Raz, Tango CEO and founder, said developers benefit from his company’s distribution model as around 70 per cent of engaged users play mobile games. There is also a range of tools that “allow them to increase vitality and retention”.

The messaging app has around 200 million registered users that third-party developers can reach via native ads, chat notifications, Tango Channels (for individual brands) and featured listings.

The company claims games played by Tango users have a lifetime value two to three times greater than the same products played by non-users.

Tango also announced the appointment of Jim Ying as its VP of games publishing. Ying previously led the $10 million developer fund at mobile social game maker GREE.

Ying said the Tango fund is “unique in that it gives developers an amazing opportunity to leverage a leading messaging platform, as well as take advantage of our marketing efforts to launch top-tier games”.

He added that no other messaging app maker has made a financial commitment of this size to the development of mobile games.

In March this year, Tango announced a $280 million funding round, including a $215 million investment from fast-growing Chinese e-commerce player Alibaba.

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