Israel’s TabTale buys Chinese kids’ game publisher

Israel’s TabTale buys Chinese kids’ game publisher

The strategic move into the Asian market lets the Israeli firm access hundreds of millions of customers

Screenshot of TabTale's 'Baby Hero' app (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Screenshot of TabTale's 'Baby Hero' app (Photo credit: Courtesy)

TabTale, an Israeli children’s app publisher, is acquiring Coco Play Limited, a Hong Kong and China-based developer of educational apps and games for kids, days after dozens of Chinese business and government officials came to Israel to drum up partnerships and deals. The acquisition gives TabTale a beachhead in Asia, with access to hundreds of millions of potential new users of its over 250 games, interactive books and educational apps.

TabTale is a major force in mobile educational games and apps. Over 350 million TabTale products have been downloaded over the last three years, among them some of the most popular kids’ educational apps in the App Store and Google Play. Tel Aviv-based TabTale has over 180 employees in its offices in Israel, the US, Macedonia, Ukraine and Bulgaria, who are soon to be joined by the several dozen Coco Play employees.

With the acquisition, TabTale acquires Coco Play’s portfolio of 3D children’s games, which include some of the top free apps for kids in several East Asian countries, such as Coco Princess, the number one free kids’ app in China. Coco Play’s two million users will join the 25 million already using TabTale apps, the latter said.

Nearly all of TabTale’s downloads are based on a freemium model, with the app or game available for free and extra features provided for a fee. TabTale derives much of the approximately $20 million of its annual revenue from such fees, according to industry sources. In Outdoor Baby, one of its popular games, for example, users can play for free and buy virtual goods, such as tents and flashlights, for real money. The company raised $12 million in Series B funding last October for a total of $13.5 million to date, and “continues to seek expansion opportunities around the globe in order to enrich its app offerings and grow in new markets,” a TabTale said.

“The Chinese mobile market presents a large opportunity for TabTale, and Coco Play’s expertise will guide us as we learn the ecosystem,” said Sagi Schliesser, TabTale’s CEO. “We welcome the entire Coco Play team and look forward to working together to develop great games for kids around the globe.”

“We’re excited to be joining TabTale and connecting with their large and loyal user base,” added Yang Lu, co-founder of Coco Play. “TabTale has a wealth of experience designing apps for kids, and that background will provide us with a deeper understanding of the space on an international level.”

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