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Cellufun – mjelly mobile 2.0 service of the week

Cellufun – mjelly mobile 2.0 service of the week

Hi its James from mjelly.com here at Mobile Industry Review with another “Mobile 2.0 Service of the Week”. This week we’re going to take a look at Cellufun – one of the emerging mobile games 2.0 superstars. As usual we’ve managed to get hold of some exclusive stats direct from the management especially for Mobile Industry Review readers.
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What is it?

Cellufun is a mobile games company that provides free downloadable and mobile web-based games over a mobile internet portal. The typical games they provide are either mobile versions of popular classics (with no licensing fees!) like Chess or Blackgammon, or their own multi-player original games like “Call of the Pharaoh” which won Best Game in the 2008 Global Mobile Awards. All of the games are funded with advertising/ are free to the end user. They also have a big focus on community at Cellufun, a lot of the games are multi-player and they also make a big deal of high score tables, forums, player profiles and so on.

Most of the action on Cellufun has been carried out off-portal on their own mobile site, but they are now beginning to get some big distribution deals. For example they recently got carriage on the Metro PCS portal, and are also providing AOL with a white label mobile games site.

The company is based in New York, they were founded in 2005 and raised a $3m series A round from Longworth Venture partners in mid 2007.

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Why is it interesting?

Cellufun are really kicking up a storm in terms of traffic and usage – here are the latest stats for November – hot off the press:

– 5 million uniques a month
– one million registered users
– 160 million pageviews per month, up from 100 million the previous quarter

Pretty amazing reach for a mobile web service and clearly its a really sticky service with users, judging by the volume of page views.

Cellufun are similar to Myxer, which we profiled a couple of weeks ago here on mobile industry review, in that they are taking a mobile 1.0 service (games) and completely re-engineering the consumer proposition and business model. The 1.0 mobile games value chain is based on premium games, usually created using high cost franchises from console platforms or movies, which are sold via operator content stores. Cellufun is completely different; it typically creates its own game brands which it offers for free and funds with advertising and focuses on building a strong community around the games. This enables them to push mobile games into completely new segments – its very similar to what casual games companies like Miniclip have done on the PC web.

Despite the recession, Cellufun is the type of startup that you could really see being acquired in the next year or two for big $$. They could be a target for a big games company like Electronic Arts, a large mobile games publisher, an aggregator and service provider like Jamba or Buongiorno or even one of the major online companies. Watch this space.

We are taking two weeks off for Christmas and New Year but see you in 2009 – we already have some really exciting mobile 2.0 services lined up to tell you about. Meeeaaary Christmas!

You can find Cellufun and other mobile games sites at mjelly.com (PC) and m.mjelly.com (mobile)

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