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African mobile game publisher Carry1st nets $27M in funding

Carry1st, which published Call of Duty: Mobile in South Africa, plans to use its newly raised money to license more games and develop its own.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 17, 2023

1 Min Read
Promo art for Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: Mobile.

Mobile game publisher Carry1st recently secured $27 million, which it'll use to develop and license new games. The funding follows the publisher's "significant" revenue growth in 2022.

The $27 million primarily comes from venture fund Bitkraft, which has commonly funded recently-opened studios headed up by game industry veterans.

Carry1st is said to be the leading publisher of games in Africa, and in late 2022, launched Call of Duty: Mobile for South Africa in what the press release called a "successful partnership." It'll have a similar partnership with developer Riot Games later in 2023.

"[Riot] is an early investor in Carry1st and has been a continued supporter of the business," wrote Carry1st.

The $27 million in funding primarily comes from venture fund Bitkraft, which commonly funds recently-opened studios headed up by game industry veterans.

Carry1st will also use the raised money to further grow out Pay1st, its monetization service used to buy virtual items in online marketplaces.

Per the press release, Africa will grow to become a major market in the mobile game industry, and the game industry for the sub-Saharan Africa region is believed to grow by over 700 percent in the next decade.

With those projections, Carry1st wants to ensure that it serves as "the conduit for international and local mobile game companies to profitably serve these consumers."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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