Thet Naing Swe is originally from Myanmar, UK-educated and Singapore-trained. Three years back, he dropped everything else and started his own company called Rival Edge focused on gaming.
What makes this entrepreneur very excited about gaming industry and what are his plans to build Rival Edge?
I studied in the UK for 4 years. I did my gaming courses there. After which I worked in the industry for a year. I always found Singapore to be a fascinating place and the people to be extremely friendly. So I jumped at the opportunity when I got an offer from one of Singapore’s most reputed colleges called Nanyang Technological University to work as a research assistant. I stayed there for two years, and loved spending my time on gaming and animation.
After spending so much time on gaming, I had an urge to do something of my own in this space. So I dropped everything else and started Rival Edge. Initially, we were doing back-end solutions for mobiles. We received some initial seed funding from Douglas Abrams and team, after which we pivoted, and started developing our own games. I have a three-people team.
Initially, I wanted to build a company to be acquired by larger players like Microsoft or Google. But, now, I am different, I don’t feel the urge to build something for some company to acquire. I want to develop games, grow users, delight users and take our games to as many people across the world as possible.
We have 12 games across all platforms. Our team is so aggressive, we roll out 2 games every month. We have over 500,000 downloads so far in the last 3 months. Although we are slow on revenue, the traction is really picking up and we are excited.
For now, all the revenue is coming from iOS. Windows is an exciting platform too. We have 50% of our downloads coming in from the US alone. However, Southeast Asia is a very exciting market when it comes to app downloads. We have a large percentage of downloads coming from the Thai market. And, since we are a startup, we are extremely scrappy. So we managed to do all this by spending zilch on advertising.
One of our most popular games is Candy Pop Saga. I request all YourStory readers to download the app and give us feedback.
My biggest challenge today is to keep the money inflow coming. In gaming, it is a little tricky. However, I am lucky to have supporters like Douglas who have always given me relevant advice and offered support. The operational costs are way lower in Myanmar than in Singapore, so I have my team there, as of now. And I do back and forth between Singapore and Myanmar. People in Myanmar love to build games, so that is good for us.
Gaming is a big industry and a thriving industry, we are excited to be in this space.