Slay, the creators of Pengu, secures $5M for their social gaming platform

Kaynak: Slay revealed that Slay has raised $5 million to build its social gaming platform. Slay had a headstart thanks to its popular virtual pet game, Pengu. Slay’s games and apps have collectively attracted more than 2.5 million monthly active users, 650,000 daily active users, and more than 10 million downloads.

Slay’s revenues in 2024 to date are already 10 times 2023’s revenues.

Fabian Kamberi, CEO of Slay

You play an ambassador role on the social platform and decide what to share with your friends about Pengu.

We are working a lot on creating this immersive social gaming platform. And my big vision is to let users fulfill the narratives they have in their minds with the virtual pets of Pengu and, down the road, with more kinds of characters. This in itself creates unlimited range for users to engage.

Fabian Kamberi, CEO of Slay

The funding round was led by Accel and included contributions from Laton VC, HYBE America CEO Scooter Braun, King cofounder Riccardo Zacconi, Popcore cofounder Johannes Heinze, Supercell cofounder and CEO Ilkka Paananen, and Tripledot cofounder and CEO Lior Shiff.

Slay will use this funding to build an immersive social gaming platform for its highly engaged users and developers, who will then create content for Pengu.

We are very sophisticated and understanding when to onboard users friends, and make sure that they have a smooth experience at the end of the day. Let’s say you feed the penguins. You play a mini game, you earn coins. You earn a reward and you and your friend feel you accomplished something together.

Fabian Kamberi, CEO of Slay

The goal is to get players to play the game continuously and engage for a long time. The game is focused on positive play, and it’s meant for friends to play with each other or kids to play with their parents.

About Slay

Founded in 2022 in Berlin, Slay’s mission is to build positive social gaming experiences that bring people together and unleash their creativity. Based cofounders of Slay are Fabian Kamberi, Jannis Ringwald and Stefan Quernhorst.

Slay cofounders (left to right) Jannis Ringwald, Fabian Kamberi and Stefan Quernhorst.
Image Credit: Venturebeat

Slay has released several successful gaming titles and apps designed for positive social interactions. Frfr, an app with AI voice messaging capability for Instagram stories, was the first AI social product to top the charts worldwide.

Slay’s most successful title, Pengu, is a virtual pet app where users raise their digital penguin, play mini-games, and connect with friends and family by “co-parenting” Pengus. The Pengu game came out in early form at the end of the year, and it has been growing fast ever since. Slay also created three other apps. “W“, an app with mini-games and anonymous polls, has hundreds of thousands of users.

We had several hits, but the current focus of the company is on Pengu, since it is bigger and more successful than anything else.

Fabian Kamberi, CEO of Slay

Pengu launched in the App Store in late 2023, and the app quickly reached a substantial user base globally. The game has more than 500,000 daily active users and close to 100,000 ratings in the App Store. With it’s incredible success, Slay is enhancing the Pengu user experience with new customizable games and characters. Slay will also release AI features for users to interact and socialize with each other on the platform.

Slay also provides a developer platform where users can create their content and worlds inside Pengu. With the rise of user-generated content games, Pengu has already seen significant interest from developers and studios.

The Pengu game itself became so successful that the team is focusing on turning it into a platform rather than creating more games to run on top of it. In 2024, Slay launched its AI chat for users to converse with their Pengu. This AI can also create cosmetics inside the game. Slay is now launching a developer relations program to help studios create casual content more easily and publish them.

Pengu, developed by Slay, has already reached 2.5 million active users.
Image Credit: venturebeat

We believe in a social gaming ecosystem where great products bring people joy while encouraging authentic connections with friends and family. Distribution is the hardest problem in games right now and only happens if you build a shareable platform that facilitates product-led growth.

We’ve identified a scalable playbook through Pengu, the perfect place to maximize your creativity and imagination, and have been delighted with the virality and organic growth it’s achieved. We are excited to be announcing today’s investment to help expand the ecosystem, so people can play, stay connected, and create new and exciting content in a positive environment.

Fabian Kamberi, CEO of Slay

We’re excited to continue our partnership with the talented team at SLAY as it looks to expand and strengthen its existing ecosystem and IP. As gaming expands its hold on entertainment and popular culture, the way consumers interact with the medium becomes inherently more social, expanding the market opportunity significantly. We look forward to the next stage of SLAY’s journey.

Luca Bocchio, partner at Accel

Company Origins of Slay

Starting their journey in December 2022, Slay had good connections with high-profile angel investors like Zacconi, the former CEO of King. However, they stayed under the radar and focused on developing a good virtual pet game. That virtual pet game was Pengu, launched at the end of 2023.

The goal of the game was to combine social and deep content so that it could distribute itself. To achieve this goal, the team developed multiple mini-games for players to enjoy.

Accel was the first believer in us, as they did the first round. They have been the best partner for us. The ambition is to turn Pengu into the platform and introduce more new characters.

Fabian Kamberi, CEO of Slay

Kamberi strongly believes in the viral nature of social gaming platforms. Players enjoy discovering games without the need for paid distribution. This factor helps retention and engagement and it ultimately leads to monetization.

Kamberi also commented on the changes of Apple’s focus on privacy over targeted ads.

Companies like us have to think creatively. I think that’s healthy because that is how you create things that really matter for the users. They can get excited about things like the Pengu character. My conviction is that we can change the world with friendly platforms.

Fabian Kamberi, CEO of Slay

Slay has raised $7.7 million to date and the current team has 14 people. They are hiring.

About Laton Ventures

Laton Ventures is a venture capital firm founded by Görkem Türk, receiving support from successful and experienced individuals in the gaming industry. Working with highly accomplished and recognized names in the sector, Laton Ventures has a straightforward strategy of identifying promising potential and achieving success with its partners by leveraging its extensive network, knowledge, and experience.

“The investment in Slay demonstrates that Laton’s strategy of investing in socially focused entertainment experiences is on the right track. We are very excited to support the Slay team and to work together. We look forward to a great journey together!”

Görkem Türk, Founding Partner at Laton Ventures
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