Embria backs 10K Riders to transform co-development in mobile gaming

Embria announces a $500,000 seed investment in 10K Riders. 10K Riders is a publisher of mobile F2P games built around a new "creative-yet-reliable" co-development approach that unites studios around in-depth concepts, allowing them to pool knowledge and drastically improving project success rates. Founded in August 2021, 10K Riders is already working on over 100 gaming projects with 78 studios from around the world (UK, France, Eastern Europe, Israel, Vietnam, India, Canada, etc.)

As an industry, mobile gaming remains a red ocean: only 10% of all studios make more than $100k a year, with less than 1% earning over a million. One of the main reasons for poor outcomes is studios spending their scarce resources on projects that the market simply does not want. Publishers have a better understanding of the players’ needs but struggle to find enough suitable projects. Co-development is the answer: it implies publishers suggesting concepts with improved potential to studios to develop together from scratch. But co-development isn’t perfect, ranging between building rock-solid clones with much lower potential, or blindingly relying on creativity which can be very risky. 10k Riders’ approach strives to lower creative risks while retaining the increased reward potential. 


As a publisher, 10K Riders is focused on careful development of initial ideas, further entrusting them to studios with relevant experience. Each concept comes with extensive documentation and game balance spreadsheets. The partner studios gain access to asset packs and shared art direction resources, lowering risks and error costs.

Typically, up to 40 teams may simultaneously work on five different concepts. Still, each team enjoys leeway to develop their idea in their style, genre, and setting, implementing original features and mechanics that enrich the original concept. All features get a/b-tested, and the best ones are shared with all participating studios. This is how 10K Riders creates a space where all participants gain access to dozens of successful, innovative features and implementations for the price of one or two of their own. In this paradigm, even failed projects often yield substantial benefits by testing and showcasing worthy innovations.

The best studios that pass the stages of test scene, internal prototype, and MVP UA test become 10K Riders' permanent partners.

The approach to work with 10K feels like the future of publisher-developer partnerships. The 10K team immediately charmed us with its professional and friendly atmosphere. They make decisions based on data and always explain why decisions are made, while always ensuring those decisions are made together with our team. 10K is confident, supportive, and collaborative, and we feel we can make better games working together with them,” Tom Bagstevold, Ascended Studio, Norway.

We’re developing the product for the new market for us and wanna thank 10K Riders for all the consultations we’re getting from them! We highly appreciate all the attention and research on similar games and product advice we get. We look forward to launching our game together,” Tran Viet Duc, DD game, Vietnam.

The idea behind the co-development model belongs to Ilia Tumenko, CEO and founder of 10K Riders. Ilia worked as a publishing director at AppQuantum where he was responsible for launching and promoting such hits as Gold & Goblins ($7m/90d), Idle Evil Clicker (10m+), Dragon Champions ($1m/29d), Idle Light City (5m+). Previously, Ilia was CEO of a consulting studio where he helped promote  TanksAlot (10m+ downloads), Day R Survival (10m+), Art of War 3 (10m+), Human Evolution (10m+), Decentraland ($1Bn+ value).

10K Riders plans to use Embria's investment to expand the pool of game studios, grow its in-house team of producers, analysts, and game designers, and invest in strategic priorities, such as its own R&D and hybrid publishing.

The mobile gaming industry is in choppy waters right now, and we want to offer it our approach that can serialize success. We strive to share the knowledge and resources with the studios, offering a predictable path from the concept stage to launch, in a joint effort to release excellent games,” said Ilia Tumenko, founder and CEO of 10K Riders.

Investing in 10K Riders is a perfect opportunity for Embria to support an experienced, ambitious team. We share their vision of talent support, and we see great potential in the co-development of mobile games,” said Stan Gorozhankin, Head of Analytics at Embria.

Embria exits Duunitori with about 70x return on investment

After seven years of close cooperation, Embria exits Duunitori, the largest Finnish job search and recruiting media, as part of the deal led by Intera Partners venture fund. Embria's return counts about 70x, making it the company's most successful venture investment so far. 

As a result of the deal, Intera becomes a majority owner in Duunitori and forms a close partnership with the company to support further growth and internationalisation. 

Duunitori was founded in 2009 by two friends Thomas Grönholm and Martti Kuusanmäki. Embria invested in Duunitory in 2015, shortly after both companies' representatives first met in Helsinki attending Slush. Embria was the biggest among Duunitory's external shareholders and the last one before the current deal.  

In 2021 Duunitori officially became the largest job board and recruitment services provider in Finland. It has seen substantial growth over the past years and expanded its operations to Sweden under the name Jobbland. In the last five years, Duunitori's turnover has seen an average annual increase of 70 percent, with a turnover of €14 million in 2021.

"Our extensive experience in creating startups from scratch helps us recognise the potential in early-stage companies, seeing them through the eyes of an entrepreneur and not only an investor. It was a pleasure to work and exchange expertise with Duunitori's highly professional and motivated team through all these years. I'm happy that Embria was a part of this highly successful journey,"

— comments Pavel Yakovlev, co-founder and co-CEO of Embria.

More details about the deal are available on Duunitori and Intera Partners' websites.

Mindfulness living for everyone. Why we build MEAL

MEAL is your source for mindful eating (i.e. intuitive eating), the most sustainable approach to nutrition and weight loss

Nearly 39% of adults globally are overweight, this percentage is expected to grow to 42% by 2025 (source: Statista). According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90-95% of overweight and obese people will not lose weight on diets, or lose weight and then gain weight again. Most overweight people have tried various diets, which promise quick and stable results but fail to do that.  

That’s why we see that traditional diet apps are losing popularity: combined downloads of those apps dropped 19% YoY over the last 12 months. At the same time, mental wellness apps are gaining popularity as users’ focus is shifting from “fixing their bodies” to “fixing their minds”. For instance, downloads of habits and motivation apps jumped 25% over the same period of time. 

We believe that a new approach that is called “mindful eating” is the key to living in the moment so you can enjoy the eating experience and, as a result, enjoy life more. Curated by licensed dietitians and Cognitive Behavioural therapists (CBT), MEAL not only breaks down nutrition in a digestible way but also guides you to release any emotional blockages you have surrounding food, so you understand the what, where, how, and why of what you eat. While it’s a long-term solution that can’t be taught overnight, you’ll start building awareness and mindfulness skills from day one.

See the app

Embria invests in Welltory along with Journey Intelligent Investments and Crosesell

Welltory is a New York-based digital health startup working on stress & energy management. The team has raised a new $1.2 million round from Embria, Journey Intelligent Investments, Crosesell, and others. The sum will be used for successful scaling and product development.

Welltory is a healthcare app designed to help people prevent illness through personalized advice. While using the app, people can analyze how morning meditation, self-made home offices, dietaries and food habits, or any other lifestyle changes can affect their stress and energy levels. With that, people can improve their level of living by simply choosing the ones that work and getting rid of those that don’t.

In Embria, we focus on Digital Health & Wellness, and have experience building such startups as Afterglow, Journey and SelfHealth. Our expertise and network will help Welltory get new market-related insights and develop the existing product. 

A startup’s priority is to work directly with customers and focus on their health, providing tools to analyze their bio-data. Welltory gives people a chance to get to know themselves better and learn how to take care of their mental and physical health.

Welltory also provides built-in explanations and videos about how people’s brain and body work, tasks that teach users how to run lifestyle experiments, and in-app chat support with wellness and quantified self specialists. These features help users get more value from the data they have in the Welltory app. 

Embria named among 26 top gaming companies in Cyprus

Best Startup EU, a global publication covering startups from European countries, issued a list of 26 Top Gaming Startups and Companies in Cyprus in 2021. Embria appears in the list among other prominent members of Cyprus gamedev community like Pixonic, Murka Games, RJ Games, Nekki, GOG, etc.

The list showcases top picks made by Best Startup EU analytics across the size spectrum from cutting-edge startups to established brands. The startups and companies were selected for exceptional performance in one of the categories:

  • Innovative ideas

  • Innovative route to market

  • Innovative product

  • Exceptional growth

  • Exceptional growth strategy

  • Management

  • Societal impact

Embria to invest $1M in ASOdesk startup

Embria is investing $1M to support a mobile marketing solution and service provider ASOdesk. The funds will be used to further develop the product, enter European markets and expand the team.

Cyprus-based ASOdesk is an all-in-one platform that helps app and game developers to grow their businesses. Since 2015 it equips companies with Full Cycle ASO, Customer Support automation, Marketing and Product Management tools, data and insights to effectively grow your app business on the App Store & Google Play. 

Already in 2017, the company reached operating profit. Last year its Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) amounted to €500,000. Сompanies like ABBYY, OneTwoTrip and SuperJob are among ASOdesk's current customers. 

Embria’s investments, expertise and network will help the company go global. The sum will be provided in two tranches within a year in exchange for a minority stake.

Wachanga mobile app developer raises $0.7M from Embria

Embria is investing $700 000 in Wachanga — a successful mobile app developer for existing and soon-to-be parents. The company creates helpful products by combining them into a single ecosystem — Family Development Assistant. Wachanga has seven applications in its portfolio that help people at different stages of parenting. 

The project involves leading experts — psychologists, doctors, and educators to make applications as valuable and accurate as possible. Applications are translated into 52 languages ​​and have users worldwide. The active monthly audience reached over 2 million users, and it keeps growing.

In Embria, we see high potential of cooperation with Wachanga. The project’s team has a deep product understanding and a good level of expertise. High retention and built-in processes for interacting with users is what we are looking for in mobile app developers. 

We invest $700 000 for further scaling of products, their qualitative improvement, and the development of AI tools. Together with the Wachanga team, we will focus on analytics and marketing to make application scaling even more successful.

Embria exits Belka Games, global game developer and publisher

Belka Games is a game developer and publisher operating since 2010, one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry. Clockmaker and Funky Bay are among the top-grossing projects of the company with >1M daily active users (DAU). Embria is one of the first investors who believed in the team back in 2010 and supported Belka Games with investments, team expertise and a global network.

Today we announce the big news: Belka Games was acquired by AppLovin. It is a mobile games company focused on building technology that fuels many of the world’s most popular mobile games and provides those technologies to game developers worldwide. It results in a richer mobile game ecosystem and better games for people everywhere.

This partnership will help the Belka Games team get more knowledge of the global mobile gaming market and expertise in driving visibility and growth as well as the opportunity to jump to a completely new level and start the global scale. At the same time, the company will continue to operate as an independent, stand-alone company with existing management.