Green games company MiniMonos – the first enterprise to ‘graduate’ from last summer’s Springboard Cambridge programme – has raised £2m and is ready to put down permanent roots in the UK.The bad news is that the little monkeys won’t be growing into Big Gorillas in Cambridge. Founder Melissa Clark-Reynolds told Business Weekly that the UK headquarters will either be in London’s Tech City or Brighton.
MiniMonos means little monkeys in Spanish and the business has gone ape since emerging from Springboard and using Cambridge as a platform for European fundraising. Clark-Reynolds said: “It’s sad that the UK base won’t be Cambridge but we are having to juggle the family needs of a lot of key people within the business.”
Kiwi Clark-Reynolds says the business has really taken off – just a year after coming out of beta and six months since UK launch.
The company has raised sufficient capital to grow a team in England and focus on that market. User numbers have grown to over 800,000 and revenue is now more than the cost of acquiring customers.
With an average month-on-month revenue growth of 30 per cent over the last year and members from over 150 countries, MiniMonos is clearly appealing to the target audience of eight-12-year-old boys and girls.
MiniMonos has raised over £2m from NZ and European Angels over the last two years after the company was seeded with money from Clark-Reynolds and a Christchurch angel investor.
Clark-Reynolds said: “We are now poised to open a UK office and grow even more quickly. Ninety per cent of our revenue now comes from the UK, with 10 per cent from the US and Canada. Launching pre-paid gift cards in Sainsbury’s in time for Christmas was a winner for us.”
Children also get in-world rewards by completing real-world eco-projects through the MiniMonos EcoMonkey program. Through their projects, players have established recycling programmes in their schools, up-cycled old clothes to make toys, planted gardens, and cleaned rivers and lakes. 50 children took part in the pilot project in 2011.
More than 700 projects have now been approved. National Geographic Kids Magazine in the UK picked up on the initiative and showcased it in their March magazine.
“These kids are learning to equate positive actions with positive feelings: fun, delight and accomplishment,” says Clark-Reynolds. “Our aim is to have a million children taking real-world eco-action as a result of playing on MiniMonos.”
With strong growth in sales, new investors and a European presence, MiniMonos’ goal is getting even closer. “It feels like just a matter of time, now,” said Clark-Reynolds.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Melissa Clark-Reynolds