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Noice has raised $5 million for what the startup is teasing as a “playful” social platform for gamers.
The Helsinki, Finland-based startup comes from Jussi Laakkonen, who was the founder of Applifier, a mobile game video sharing corporation that was acquired by Unity Technologies in 2014. He teamed up with Jenni Wilson, lead game designer and cofounder. They are not describing what they’re undertaking publicly however simply because teasing that it combines user-generated content, deep game systems, and engaging social style.
The investors in Noice’s initially round of funding are Laakkonen (founder and CEO, Noice), David Helgason (cofounder of Unity Technologies), Ilkka Paananen (CEO of Supercell), Pekka Aakko (cofounder of Applifier), Bret Terrill (cofounder of Super Free Games), Kristian Segerstråhle (CEO of Super Evil Megacorp), Miki Kuusi (CEO of Wolt), Riku Mäkelä (cofounder of Wolt), Markus Mäki (chairman of Remedy Entertainment) and Alexis Bonte (chief operating officer of Stillfront Group). That’s a great chunk of Scandinavia’s gaming startup mafia.
“The headline here is that the people who started unicorns are backing this crazy new startup by a repeated entrepreneur,” stated Laakkonen, in an interview with GamesBeat. “I got together with some people who built some really awesome stuff before. It’s a very experienced team. This is our big tease.”
Laakkonen noted that Noice’s founding group members constructed and scaled Unity Ads to $one hundred million in gross income, and constructed Applifier’s Everyplay to tens of millions of shared mobile game replays . They also constructed Applifier’s cross-promotion network to 250 million month-to-month active customers.
“Noice is a social platform for gamers,” Laakkonen stated. “When you’re designing for gamers, the first thing to think about is what does your audience like. They like to play games, and most social media is not like a game. It’s boring. We approach the whole thing, with this core innovation, as a social platform that is playful.”
Broadly speaking, social networks are the competitors.
“We want to make this platform feel like a game from the start to the end, from the first time you touch the platform to all the way through many years that you’re a user,” Wilson stated. “That means discovering game loops, having a metagame, and not just an achievement system. We want players to identify moments and celebrate and communicate immediately.”
The new platform
Laakkonen ran Unity’s advertisements company for a couple of years and then attempted to do a startup. But it failed and he shut it down. Then he took a break for a year and moved to Switzerland with his family and skied for a when.
“The plan was to move and occupy myself with so much that my crazy entrepreneur mind would be busy doing other stuff,” Laakkonen stated. “So it was like hanging out with the kids, relearning programming, helping them to learn programming and skiing, and just kind of chilling. We went on a safari.”
That helped Laakkonen get recharged. Then, in 2019, he got with each other with Wilson to work on an notion to make gaming more social and engaging. They constructed a prototype and, following a couple of months of development, they showed it to some customers. The feedback was great, so they began working on it more. Then the coronavirus struck and slowed every little thing down.
“It really exploded around us and I was scared,” Laakkonen stated.
The group kept at it and made yet another prototype that they tested in June 2020. The feedback was once again excellent, and so they began the corporation officially in August 2020.
“No one is actually putting all these things together like we are developing,” Wilson stated. “If we did say the idea, people would say it’s obvious.”
As for raising the revenue, Laakkonen had great relationships with a lot of the investors. He had some of his personal revenue to invest from the Unity initial public providing.
The new platform is in early testing and is seeing exceptional user engagement, Laakkonen stated. The distributed startup has 18 folks and it is hiring for more than 15 roles. The corporation does not have an workplace, but most are in Helsinki and some are spread about the world. There are openings for 3D modelers, engineering, excellent assurance, and other folks.
Wilson was the lead designer on Best Fiends Forever at Seriously, and she worked at other locations like Natural Motion and Next Games. The game creators on Noice’s group have worked at organizations like Seriously, Zynga, Lightheart, and Redhill Games. Wilson is based in Helsinki.
The corporation will use the raised funds to make the Noice platform with the aim of launching in an open beta of the platform in early 2022. Does Laakkonen want to be a unicorn like the type his other Scandanavian mates have constructed?
“I don’t want to be a unicorn founder,” he stated. “I want to be a cockroach where there’s no way you’re going to kill me.”