Two game developers. Ex-professional cyclist and founder of Bikefinder. and former product manager for shipping company Zaptec.
This four-leaf clover shares a small office at Forus in Sandnes. They have ambitions to take the world through a mobile game, at the same time they will get young people out of the basement into broad daylight.
Both parts are hard enough to be left alone.
Last year, Okto Technologies AS raised 3.8 million NOK in a share issue. Filmkraft spit out 100,000 kroner, Innovation Norway gave them support and this fall will raise another four to eight million kroner in a new issuance round.
The founders dipped their hands in both their own and Dag Otto Lauritzen’s pockets to fund the party.
I love being part of the startup phase of new companies, says daily leader Ole Martin Ølmheim (31).
No game lovers
Ølmheim, a former professional cyclist and founder of Bikefinder, says he has no interest in gaming. However, he has become a daily leader in a game development company – in a country where it is difficult to close with this.
I made several trips to other companies. Some of the crowns were lit, some were lost. It’s a good mix. We are new to the industry, but we have international ambitions, Olheim says.
Our neighboring country earns billions at stake. We want to help Norway do the same.
Okto’s overall goal is to create more outdoor activity through so-called “games”.
The concept is about using ideas in games in situations outside of games. In the mobile game “Soria Saga”, families and young people will use their phones to walk around the local community and play mini-games in selected cities. In this way, Okto will entice children and young adults to be more active.
– Through the Soria Saga, the player will learn, develop and be there more without noticing it in general, Olmheim claims.
Soria Saga turns actual cities into a “hub” in the game, where the user can participate in mini-games. The plan is to launch the game during 2023.
The concept seems to be largely inspired by the highly successful game Pokémon Go, but without the pocket monster this time around.
For example, they created one activity in the game, and there are more on the way. Their developmental powers haven’t been in the picture for long, so they need some time.
In the long run, the developers want the users themselves to be able to create content for the game.
Millions of players
The Okto product has undergone a number of changes, but the vision has remained the same throughout.
First, Filip Nag collaborated with another Zaptec extension to develop a fitness app. The concept was then changed into a kind of Pokémon Go for cyclists, before they turned into today’s product.
When one develops the game, the principle is “follow the fun,” so it’s important to dare to try and fail, says Olmheim.
Analyzes and tests of the application have shown that there is greater potential if you make the target group wider. Therefore, they stayed away from the concept of a bike.
– There are thousands of products within each type of game, but for outdoor games, there is only one big product; Pokemon Go. That’s why we think there’s great potential for us to shut down, says Philip Nag.
Our goal is to have millions playing this in a few years. Now there are only four of us here, but we were no more than four or five at Zaptec when we started either. He says I am very confident that we will make it happen.
Shipping company Zaptec expects turnover to be around 1 billion in 2022.
Okto Technologies’ next round of financing begins in the third quarter, and They released a public beta test of their game this week. 40 percent of the money they raise this fall will go to marketing and launch — despite the fact that the game isn’t over yet.
Beta testing will continue through the summer, and they’ll run an analytical round on the results in the fall again. It will determine how they plan more.
– If we can follow our plans, I think we will have 6-7 employees in the new year. You just have to stop for a cup of coffee if you’re interested, says Ølmheim.
For example, they will not comment on when they will start making money.
“It’s not something we’re coming up with yet. We’ll have 50,000 downloads in the first months after launch, and more than 100,000 after one year in the market,” Olheim says.
Today we focus mostly on one thing. They make a fun simple experimental game. Then we must take it step by step, says Nag at the end.
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