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Four University of Nairobi students strike gold with online games start-up

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Four varsity students click in good income  

Muva Studios founders Mr Evans Ndegwa (left) and Ms Triza Kiriethe. Their start-up produces free, multi-platform and easy to play games.

Muva Studios founders Mr Evans Ndegwa (left) and Ms Triza Kiriethe. Their start-up produces free, multi-platform and easy to play games.

Most university students, especially those who are about to graduate, always wonder where jobs will come from.

This is especially the case in Kenya where colleges and universities churn out graduates faster than the market can absorb them.

However, for four University of Nairobi students, their worry is far removed from issues to do with the job market; their concern is how they can grow their start-up and make it sustainable.

MUVA STUDIOS

The students are already clicking their way into financial freedom through their venture, Muva Studios.

The start-up, which designs online games, was started two years ago and has been nurtured by the university’s incubation centre, Computing

for Development (C4D) Lab.

Thanks to the ingenuity of the young entrepreneurs, the business is steadily becoming a game-changer in the entertainment scene.

What is intriguing about the games is that they are not just about fun, but they educate about the all-important and critical subject of conserving the environment.

ECO-FRIENDLY GAMES

If you like it, you can refer to their invention as ‘green’ games as they are eco-friendly.

“Our games are for a cause; it is about conservation of the environment,” says Mr Evans Ndegwa, CEO of Muva Studios.

The games, he adds, also inspire players to overcome challenges and adversities. Essentially, they are about having fun as you learn valuable lessons about our environment.

“Almost every game is about overcoming real challenges, and not just imaginary ones,” he says.

One of the games is called ‘Sniper’ and comes with the message: ‘Snipers Around! Make sure you shoot them as fast as possible or run!’

Another one called “Monkee” is about feeding a monkey with fruits while avoiding venomous snakes slithering on the trees.

So how does Muva’s concept work and generate income?

BUSINESS MODEL

“The games are free, but we make good money through adverts which are installed into our games by partner advertisers,” says Triza Kiriethe, a co-founder of Muva Studios.

“The ads are usually education-related, but they don’t have to be”.

The games, which are available on smartphones and computers, get about 50 downloads a week, which translates into approximately 200 downloads a month.

Muva then charges the agencies a minimum of $2 (Sh212) for every 1,000 clicks on their adverts.

The number of clicks is tracked by advertisers who then remit the revenues to Muva Studios.

Currently the firm makes Sh50,000 a month.

The games, Ms Triza says, are interesting and easy to play.

Ms Triza says they make sure that ads do not crowd out the game.

“We make sure adverts are few and do not interrupt the flow of the game,” she says.

START-UP CHALLENGES

The young innovators say navigating the challenges posed by a start-up is not easy.

However, the difficulties they face are offset by the fun they are having as they design the games and see them getting traction among users.

“We love the game and giving up despite numerous challenges, is not an option,” Ms Triza says.

Their biggest challenge is making the venture sustainable.

At the moment, Mr Ndegwa says, most of their earnings come from abroad as the Kenyan market is yet to fully embrace their idea. However, the entrepreneurs are looking for ways to attract local ads.

“We are putting in place measures to ensure more of our games are consumed locally. For instance, our design will mostly capture African values and themes, besides targeting mostly the young,” he says.

The games can be downloaded from Google Play, Nokia Store, App Store and Windows store once the user is on muvastudios.com.

 

Smart Company

 

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