Gaming platform

Abbreviated gaming platform ONMO targets 50 million users: Krish Seshadri

Mumbai: The confluence of casual gaming and esports is emerging as a powerful business model for gaming platforms in India. One such platform, ONMO, the gaming platform of listed company OnMobile Global, is looking to grow its user base from over half a million to 50 million.

The ONMO platform is a web application accessible by any browser by simply typing the URL (uniform resource locator) in the address bar. Any casual gamer can start playing its myriad of games ranging from 8-ball pool and mini-golf to tower crush and sudoku. The main difference is that the gaming experience is designed in such a way that the user does not spend more than two to three minutes completing the game.

The fast burst of gameplay offered by the ONMO platform combined with the ability to wager real money (as little as Rs 2 up to Rs 20) to compete with other players is the secret sauce of its strategy for engage the gaming community in India. .

The company launched its first “Just Beat It” brand campaign in April, conceptualized by Lowe Lintas Bangalore. The film was supported by an influencer-led campaign featuring Tanmay Bhat, Neha Dhupia and Radhika Madan who challenged casual gamers to play on the ONMO platform and break the records set by them on the most popular games. popular ONMO.

According to E&Y, India has 390 million online gamers. There are 95 million paid gamers in India and 94% of casual gamers play on mobile. Esports and casual gaming revenue is estimated at Rs 2,900 crore in 2021 and Indian consumers’ willingness to pay for online gaming has increased as gaming gains social acceptance. Mobile game apps saw a 40% increase in in-app purchases in 2021.

With over two decades of operating experience, Krish Seshadri has experience leading global businesses in India, Asia-Pacific, USA and Europe. His experience spans building and scaling digital and technology products, businesses and organizations in online games, digital content and entertainment, social media platforms, fin-tech, online recruiting and advertising technology.

An engineering graduate from Stanford University and an MBA from London Business School, where he was a Chevening Scholar, Seshadri has worked in a diverse set of companies. Early in his career, he held various leadership positions at AOL (now Verizon) managing product, content, marketing and sales operations in India and the United States. He was responsible for growth and partnerships for Facebook India, leading its user base in the country. He led the teams as CEO of Zynga where he built and developed leading social games. He served as Chairman of the online mutual fund platform FundsIndia. Prior to joining ONMO, he was CEO of online recruiter Monster.com.

Seshadri joined OnMobile Global as CEO in August 2021 and later assumed the role of CEO of ONMO in October 2021. His goal is to build the D2C (direct-to-consumer) product by leveraging his previous experience on the platform Zynga social games.

In a conversation with Indiantelevision.com, ONMO CEO Krish Seshadri talked about the gaming platform, its features and functionality, distribution strategy and growth prospects.

Edited excerpts:

On the ONMO gaming platform

Over the past two or three years, mobile games have become an extension of mobile entertainment. It was therefore time for us to enter the adjacent mobile gaming market. We have two to three products in the mobile gaming segment. ONMO is one of the biggest products that we’ve been building for a year and that I currently run.

There are various elements in this product, such as social games and electronic sports. Mobile esports has become a reliable and proven revenue model in markets like India and the United States. Esports is a big underlying pillar of our product. We have also developed cloud-based games for our platform.

Our goal is not to host full games, rather we are like the TikTok of gaming. Each gameplay is around one minute, two minutes or three minutes long. Our research shows that young millennial audiences prefer to consume entertainment in bite-size pieces. There is long-form entertainment in their media consumption, but more and more content is being consumed in short bursts. The rise of short-form video platforms like TikTok and Chingari in global markets is testament to this trend.

We have a proprietary content management system that ingests content and identifies specific short playthroughs of a game. These specific moments are then hosted on our platform available to players as challenges.

ONMO is primarily a B2C (business to consumer) product, but we are also exploring partnerships with telecom operators to distribute our games. Currently, there are relationships with 100 telecom operators worldwide. We do not develop the games on our platform, but we partner with different game companies around the world. There are partnerships with over 100 game companies. Our platform ingests the games they have developed. We do not develop the games per se, we work in partnership with different game companies around the world. We now have partnerships with over 100 game companies. We review the games they have and place them as these shorter challenges and then host them on our platform.

In the target market

Our target audience is mostly casual gamers between the ages of 18-35 in India, North America and Europe. In terms of distribution, we have developed a web application, which means you only need a mobile phone and a web browser to access our platform. We focus on mobile gamers and will probably develop a native app for Android or iOS which would be available on the Play Store or App Store. The advantage of a web application is that we can deploy and test in global markets without the hassle of authorization required by application markets. A user simply enters their Gmail, Facebook or mobile number and takes action.

On the basic offers of the platform

There are two main offers on the ONMO platform. First of all, these are the basic game formats. Currently, we have launched real money gambling in two formats for Indian users where they can compete using INR (Indian National Rupee). There is a cash tournament that has a start time and an end time. Any player can join this tournament and be ranked in the leaderboard. There is a cash prize distribution at the end of the tournament.

Another format is our one-on-one Cash Battles where one player can challenge another player. The winner gets the full prize and the platform keeps a portion of the prize pool as a platform fee.

We also have a new format that is not available on any other platform. We call these “Beat It” tournaments. In this format, players can beat the high score of the day for a particular game within 24 hours. The player’s photo is posted to the stream until someone else beats their score. Players keep trying this over and over again because everyone wants to beat the daily score. This adds a competitive layer to the gameplay which increases engagement and retention. All of the research we’ve come across in casual games shows that adding a competitive element to your games dramatically improves engagement on the platform. We have seen this game format grow 3x quarter over quarter.

The flagship product is cash tournaments and “Beat It” challenges. Players in India can join and play with each other for real money (in rupees). We have also enabled bitcoin transactions for players outside of India. For global players, enabling crypto payments is an important function because in the gaming community there is a deluge of virtual tokens and users are used to using these tokens to purchase items. We pioneered virtual currencies when I was at Zynga with Zynga tokens. The only difference was that Zynga was a closed network but with crypto these currencies can be sold and traded on an open network. It offers cross-region compatibility. Players from all countries can bet against each other using a common token.

On platform metrics

We launched cash battles in beta format in January-February. We have grown to over half a million monthly active users (MAUs) and will likely double that number very soon. We are growing 70% month over month and the number of games on our platform this quarter compared to last quarter is 3 times.

ONMO’s business model on the B2C side is primarily through our esports model – players wager money for challenges and tournaments. On the B2B (business to business) side, we are exploring a subscription model with our telecom partners.

On growth strategy

From a B2C point of view, we mainly focus on India. By the end of the year, we will consider expanding to other geographies in North America and Europe. In five years, approximately 80% of our revenues will come from the United States, mainly in the B2C domain. From a casual gaming perspective, the amount of money esports players pay in the US is a multiple of what they bet in India. Pure throughput on the platform will be higher. India is a great market to start with and build a large audience base.

In India, our go-to-market strategy for ONMO relies on performance marketing and brand marketing. We have an exclusive distribution partnership with short-form video platform Chingari to access its growing install base of over 100 million. We have an exclusive deal with them as OnMobile Global has invested in Chingari and their gaming channel. This will give us access to 50 million users, which is a large number.

The company launched its first “Just Beat It” brand campaign in April, conceptualized by Lowe Lintas Bangalore. The film was supported by an influencer-led campaign featuring Tanmay Bhat, Neha Dhupia and Radhika Madan who challenged casual gamers to play on the ONMO platform and break the records set by them on the most popular games. popular ONMO.