Jordan-based mobile game publisher Tamatem announced today it has raised $11 million in a Series B led by KRAFTON, a South Korean game developer behind PUBG, marking its first investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Venture Souq, Endeavor Catalyst and existing investors also participated in the round.
The Series B round brings its total raised to over $17 million and values Tamatem at around $80 million, Hussam Hammo, CEO and founder of Tamatem told TechCrunch.
Tamatem publishes games relevant to Arabic users and customizes its games to fit the culture.
“The users need to feel that the game was made for them, not just translated from one language to another. Tamatem makes the games culturally relevant to the end users,” said Hammo. “The demand for relatable and enjoyable mobile games is higher than ever and our mission is to provide our region with the best gaming experience possible.”
Tamatem will use the latest funding to amplify its efforts by bringing various games with more popular titles to the Arabic-speaking market. The startup will hire local talent in Saudi Arabia to expand further. The gaming industry is booming in Saudi Arabia, with about 70% of Tamatem’s users, Hammo noted.
“Big things are happening for the mobile games industry in the region. We are reaping the rewards of our past successes and pushing forward with more experience and more grit. We are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the massive potential of mobile games in MENA, and I am always super elevated when more people invest in the industry and the region,” Hammo said.
The startup also plans to launch a gaming academy to train, educate and elevate employment in the industry in pursuit of pushing the market’s growth and maturity.
It has published more than 50 games since 2013, including its four main games: VIP Baloot, VIP Jalsat, Fashion Queen and Clash of Empire. Tamatem has over 120 million downloads across its portfolio and 3.5 million daily active users on its top games.
The company has 75 employees, and is planning on doubling in size in the next six months, Hammo noted.
Tamatem plans to continue expanding globally and hiring all kinds of talent from all over the world.
“We have employees in the U.S., India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Hungary and Jordan. We opened an office in Saudi and Egypt last year and are planning to open more regional offices in different countries,” Hammo said.
“We see huge potential in the MENA region and are happy to have started our investment journey here with a prolific publisher like Tamatem. We are committed to the MENA region and are willing to take more bets in the overall media and entertainment sector. This investment is aligned with our efforts to strengthen our commitment to the startup ecosystem. This is just the beginning of our many investments in this region,” said Anuj Tandon, head of corporate development (India and MENA) at KRAFTON. “As we continue our focus to provide the best experience for our MENA users of our various games including PUBG: NEW STATE, Tamatem’s deep understanding of the local landscape and this collaboration will be very helpful.”