SOSventures invests €500,000 in social gaming start-up Mavenhut

16 Nov 2012

An online games start-up founded by a trio from Romania which will be headquartered in Ireland has just received a €500,000 investment from SOSventures.

Mavenhut was founded by experienced online entrepreneur Bobby Voicu, product development expert Cristi Badea and developer Elvis Apostal.

The company’s first game, Solitaire Arena is a one vs one Solitaire game that has taken the Facebook world by storm with more than 120,000 registered players and 20,000 daily players.

The company, which picked up the People’s Choice Award at the Startupbootcamp event in Dublin in May is just six months old.

Voicu explained the aim of the company is to take popular games like Solitaire and Frogger and reinvent them for a social audience.

“Traditionally, these games would be played by individuals and what we’ve done is make it possible for two players to challenge one another in real-time via social networks like Facebook,” Voicu explained.


Voicu explained that the average player plays 20 games a day and spends 50 minutes on the platform.

“We are focusing on one game at a time and we will launch new games over the months to come.”

He explained he will be basing himself in Ireland while the other members of the team will remain in Romania to keep development costs under control.

“Our focus is on the infrastructure that makes it possible for people to take on friends in real-time over social networks and the key is to reinvent popular games that are lots of fun,” he said, pointing out that it’s possible to play Solitaire Arena from the default Facebook app on the iPad.

Before joining the Startupbootcamp in May, the company bootstrapped itself to get to 60,000 members.

“It’s a fantastic growth story in a quirky market with and even more unusual demographic,” said Bill Liao from SOSventures.

SOSventures, a global venture capital and investment management firm, was founded by Sean O’Sullivan, an Irish-American who founded Kinsale, Co Cork-based tech start-up Avego and whose previous investments include Harmonix, which created Guitar Hero.

Disclosure: SOSventures is also an investor in Silicon Republic

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years