AFI Inc CEO Kwon Oh-Hyun aspires to grow gaming server Backend Base beyond Korean shores

Korean startup AFI Inc. is the top company for game developers in the country for their unique game server ‘Backend’. It is a cost-effective and high-end server that helps game developers produce their games and sell it to millions easily.

The CEO of the company Kwon Oh-Kyun shared his thoughts about his startup, its vision and future aspirations with

1. Tell us about your startup and the vision?

The name of our company is AFI. We provide server service called Backend Base for game developers in South Korea. The developers can simply attach the SDK at the end of the game to create a game server. Our main two services currently include – Backend Base & Backend Chat. The Backend Base is an asynchronous server that can simply attach SDK and use it without developing a separate server. Backend Chat feature helps with game retention with premium chat functions.

Our vision is to help people save time and money using IT technology. Our first mission is to make games available to everyone.

2. What is the market opportunity for service that your startup provides?

Game servers are difficult, expensive and unstable for most game developers. With the mobile gaming industry growing rapidly, there are many game developers who want to get a cheaper solution. In South Korea, 15000 games were released in 2017 of which only 1000 used servers. Our server service Backend Base is simple to use and cost-effective. Currently, we have over 513 developers using it in Korea.

3. What is your revenue model?

Customers pay. Our primary customers are game developers. Generally, game server costs between 5 and 15 percent of game sales. So our service receives 7% of game sales as a service fee. Our revenue last year was $ 15000 and this year we expect it to be over $20,000.

4. What about your founding team?

We are four friends, who found the company. I am an engineering graduate and my partners are also computer science experts.

5. What is unique about your startup?

Our technology is unique. Our company is the only one in the world that offers server and chat service.  Currently, we are the leading company in this industry in South Korea.

6. What about your funding history and future aspirations?

We have got $400000 from accelerators and investors in the four years since our launch.

We expect to reach a milestone of $10 million in funding in near future.  Mobile game usage is increasing and by 2021 there will be more games that use servers than games that do not use. Also average time to develop a game is usually a year. Out service was launched last year. So next year, many games will be released. Our sales will increase next year.

7. If you attract more funding, how do you plan to use the investment?

We want to hire more people – mainly developers. We also want to expand to Japan and Taiwan. Our competitors are in US and Europe, but the mobile game market in Asia is much bigger and we hope to penetrate the market. The Chinese market is also attractive. However, China’s policy is not ready to accept cloud services other than China. If China’s policy is ready, it will provide services then.

8. Where do you see your startup in five years time?

We have been serving small companies and developers right now, but we hope to get bigger companies as our clients. Also, we want to have our service in Japan and Taiwan become successful. We are aiming to get 20% of the market share and hoping to reach $100 million in revenue.

About James Jung

James Jung is a Senior Technology Reporter for KoreaTechDesk.

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