Cameroonian video game studio Kiro’o Games has sold more than half of its shares offered for sale, only 10 months after the studio launched and without having launched a product to market.
Founder and CEO of Kiro’o Games Guillaume Madiba told Disrupt Africa the startup needed to raise funds for the on-going development of it’s first commercial game, and as such decided to sell 300 of its 1000 shares to external investors; via “equity-crowdfunding”.
Priced at XAF400,000 (US$771) per share, Madiba revealed 184 shares have already been sold, totalling XAF73.6 million (US$141,800).
“This financing technique is intended to open the capital to private investors. It offers the opportunity for individuals or companies to purchase shares of capital… The list of private investors […] may include individuals of various kinds (businessmen, professionals, students, shopkeepers) wishing to give meaning to their savings; and corporate bodies wishing to make profitable investments and associate their business to a project that has the potential to become one of Africa’s largest companies,” Madiba said.
According to Madiba, the total cost of launching the game under development – Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan – will be US$1million; which he places at approximately one quarter of the cost charged by USA and Europe-based game studios. This ability to create quality products at a lower cost is why Kiro’o Games has such potential, he says.
Despite being pleased about the “early celebrity” the studio is garnering, and eager to raise the remaining needed funds, Madiba – who stamps himself “pure ‘Made in Cameroon’” – said he would like to see more African investors come forward.
“The project is mostly funded by capital from abroad, with individual investors, Canadian, French companies, etc. who have caught the vision and profitability of Kiro’o,” he said.
“However, for the symbolism of the project, it would be good that African businessmen do not miss this windfall.”