With Blackstone’s backing, Murka stakes a claim in social casino games
In the saturated social casino game market, it isn’t easy to battle the big brands. But that’s the challenge that Murka, a smaller player in Ukraine, has undertaken with some success. Through growth that accelerated this year, Murka has become a top 10 player with five million monthly active users.
While it still has a tiny share of the $6.2 billion social casino game market, Murka has grown 40% this year as users play more during the pandemic, partly because its slot machine games are more like role-playing games.
Over a decade, the Kyiv, Ukraine-based company has emerged from a small startup to more than 550 employees across five offices. It was acquired last year by mega investor Blackstone Group, a private equity firm. Blackstone also owns casino properties such as The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas as well as Vungle, a performance marketing firm. Blackstone’s revenues last year were $7.3 billion.
“You can understand why it’s exploding right now,” said Barak David, Murka’s chief operating officer, in an interview with GamesBeat. “There was a pandemic effect. On the positive side, people were staying home and playing. They can play our games to relax a little.”
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The company started in 2011, and it created social casino games such as Slots Journey, Slots Journey 2, TX Poker, S&H Casino, Vegas Slots, Royal Fortune Slots, Bubbla Cadabra, and Scatter Slots. The company doesn’t report its revenues, but its estimated social casino game revenue in the second quarter was $40.5 million, ranking it at No. 10 in the industry, according to analyst firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
That’s far smaller than $503 million in estimated