Tripledot Studios Raises $78 Million for Mobile Gaming

By Bruce Harpham Friday, April 23, 2021

Tripledot Studios is on the way to unicorn startup status. The mobile game startup business has raised a $78 million funding round and a valuation close to $500 million. The gaming company was founded in 2017 and had more than 90 employees in Minsk and London.

The company founders are dreaming big. “We want to build the Apollo program of mobile gaming by bringing together the best people in the industry and collectively build the best environment in which to make games," said Akin Babayigit, COO of Tripledot.

A person playing a mobile game.

Tripledot Studios Games Draw From Analog

The mobile gaming startup creates games based on popular card games. Three popular games — Solitaire, Woodoku, and Blackjack — are based on cards and wooden blocks. The company offers its mobile games for iOS and Android mobile devices. Like many other mobile games, Tripledot Studios uses in-game advertising to generate revenue. In general, the games themselves are free to download.

The Free to Play Mobile Game Business Model

Building free mobile games for the public relies on several methods to generate revenue. Roblox sells a virtual in-game currency called Robux to generate revenue in addition to using advertising and other methods. However, Tripledot Studios primarily focuses on generating advertising revenue.

According to NewZoo, the global mobile game market is worth more than $77 billion in revenue in 2020. Apple and Google still control most of the mobile game business. NewZoo estimates that Apple's App Store generated about $38 billion in revenue last year (half of the global total). Mobile game revenue from Google Play was projected to reach $27 billion. If NewZoo is right about current trends, the mobile game market might be worth more than $100 billion by 2023.

Business Strategy Focuses on Evergreen Games

Some video game designers choose to create brand new concepts and hope for the best. Others, like Tripledot Studios, prefer to focus their company strategy on well-proven mobile games. As of April 2021, there are more than 50 free solitaire-themed games in the Google Play Store. To compete in this market, Tripledot Studios looks to history for inspiration. The startup company offers Solitaire 95, a mobile game inspired by the classic 1990s Windows desktop game. Like Microsoft and the Age of Empires franchise, other game designers have also taken inspiration from 1990s nostalgia to build their business strategy.

Three Investors Led the Funding Round

Three investors joined forces to grow the startup business in its Series A funding round: Eldridge, Access Industries, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Before raising the Series A round in 2021, the company had raised an $8 million seed round of financing from investors in 2018. Velo Investors led the 2018 seed round.

Eldridge, based in Connecticut, invests in a wide variety of business models, including insurance (e.g., Security Credit), sports (e.g., Los Angeles Dodgers and esports), and real estate. Located in New York, Access Industries has invested in more than 30 countries in business sectors such as media, entertainment, and biotechnology. Established in 1999, Lightspeed has invested in more than 400 companies such as Affirm, GrubHub, and MuleSoft.

“The extraordinary team at Tripledot Studios has rapidly built a special company in one of the fastest-growing entertainment formats globally,” said Danny Cohen, president of Access Entertainment, who will also join the startup company board of directors.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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