Mobile games developer TouchTen has received Series B funding from Cyber Agent Venture, a Japanese investment company. TouchTen CEO, Anton Soeharyo talks about the gaming industry being in a nascent stage in Indonesia, his vision of creating a platform that takes Indonesian games to the global market and brings international games into the country, and the company’s arduous journey in attracting investors, among other things. Excerpts:
What does Cyber Agent Venture see in TouchTen?
Cyber Agent Venture has confidence that TouchTen is ready to compete on a global scale. Also, it sees potential in the Southeast Asia market, especially Indonesia. It hopes that its investment and mentorship can propel us into a game publishing platform in Indonesia.
It is seen that most Japanese investors are targeting e-commerce companies and game developer. Is it true? What is the thought process behind it?
In case of the Indonesian market, we believe that most investors prefer e-commerce companies, rather than gaming. This makes sense as the risk is much smaller. No matter how we see it, more and more people will turn to online shopping in the future. However, this is not the case when it comes to Indonesia’s gaming industry, as it is still not ready to compete on a global scale.
Is this why TouchTen is targeting the global market, not the local one?
Exactly; this is also why it took two years for us to be approved by Cyber Agent Venture. We were rejected several times.
And then what happened?
They re-evaluated our proposal after about six months, and asked if we were interested in creating something different. They told us that we were rejected in the first place because we were only focusing on game development. They believed that we could do better than that. So, the next time we met, I proposed creating a publishing platform – something that promotes Indonesian games to the global market and brings in international games into the country.
Is this why Cyber Agent Venture finally said yes?
Yes. After two years of hard work, and that was not easy!
What is the relationship between TouchTen and Ideosource? Ideosource is still our investor. It is our Series A Investor, so its slice of pie is smaller. Ideosource is an ideal investor for a startup company. It does not intervene with our operational system; however, it is always present when we need help, and always ready to answer our inquiries.
How many games has TouchTen developed?
So far, we have developed 17 games. Out of them, 10 games are free. Additionally, six are among the top 10 list in the United States.
How has your journey been so far?
For me, the four years of managing TouchTen and two years collecting the necessary funds, has been a long and arduous journey. Indonesia has a lot of potential to strive in gaming. We are not merely a copycat country with high degree of consumerism, like it is perceived. By being the first Indonesian gaming company that received capital from an international investor, we demonstrate that Indonesia is starting to get recognised in this industry.