Hello Lumi – Improving wellbeing through games

Announcing Galileo Ventures investment in Lumi Interactive!
By
Team Galileo
January 27, 2022

We’re excited to share our investment in Lumi Interactive who create games that improve player wellbeing.

Lumi Interactive is a female-founded (and LGTBQI identifying!) mobile game studio by Lauren Clinnick and Christina Chen, focused on making games for global resilience and connection. Lumi Interactive debuted with their first game Kinder World via Kickstarter in early 2021

Kinder World is a comforting plant-themed game that combines plant care mechanics with mental wellbeing games. It’s currently in its alpha (iOS and Android) version, you can download and play here.  

With a focus on social connection and wellbeing, Kinder World has over 70k worldwide downloads while still in alpha and has sold over $90k AUD in pre-sales (in-game items & physical merch). These developers went viral on TikTok with over a million views, gathering 47k+ global followers interested in being kinder to themselves and others. 

Why we invested in a unique team for the gaming industry?

We were big fans of the co-founders from the first meeting – their skills and backgrounds compliment each other well, they have the right perspective and insight into where games are heading and they have a big ambition to create a new category. 

Lauren has marketing experience in the games industry and is not afraid to tell us what she wants (fun fact: they did the most diligence on us as an investor too!). Christina has a great mobile game technology background with marketing, data science and monetisation experience to back it up. Together we think they’ll build some incredible high-growth category-creating games – starting with Kinder World.  

The wellness opportunity created by COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Globally many have faced challenges that have been stressful, and overwhelming. The emotional exhaustion of the pandemic was a lightbulb moment for Lumi.

There had to be better mental health and wellbeing solutions on the go, especially with Millennials and Gen Z turning to simpler hobbies such as gaming and social media “doom scrolling” to reduce stress. 

Although there are accessible meditation style apps like Headspace and Calm, Lauren and Christina found that for younger generations, the current apps require too much effort - leading to a 95% dropout rate.

The market intersection where Kinder World sits.

Kinder World is a wellbeing app for the masses. With 30+ wellbeing activities informed by psychology research, Kinder World uses houseplant gameplay, integrated with a collaborative community that focuses on helping each other, not competition

Why the future is short play sessions rather than long addictive whale hunting

Unlike traditional games, Kinder World is designed for shorter play sessions in the morning and the evening. This reduces users’ time commitment versus current offerings that require increasingly longer sessions. Kinder World is streamlined and accessible for on-the-go emotional regulation..

Designed for creativity, players are able to grow completely unique houseplants (thanks to a custom growth algorithm) by taking care of themselves and supporting others. Rewards include decorative items, personal spaces to design, new plant species and more ways to motivate others through ‘Kind Wish‘ messages in the game.

The social element in Kinder World is also unlike any other social network or game community. It has the explicit goal of bringing people together to spread kindness to each other. Lumi’s goal is that through being kind to yourself and being kind to others, we’ll eventually build a kinder world together.

We love category-creating founders

The first thing that impressed us when we met Lauren and Christina, we believed in their strong vision and purpose to make games for global resilience and connection. This kind of category creation is one of the theses of Galileo: the team want to build a new and unique category by combining one space (games) with another (wellness apps).

Secondly, we were impressed with the team. Lauren and Christina are laser-focused and intentional about each feature they build with the player’s wellbeing in mind. We are constantly impressed every time we sit down with them to hear all the weird and wonderful tests and initiations they experiment with as Kinder World takes shape.

TLDR, tell me in a meme:

Stay tuned for our next investment announcement!

If you’re a first-time founder looking to raise the first round - we want to hear from you! Apply today and we’ll aim to get back to you with real feedback from a real human. 💡  FUN FACT:  Our speed from term sheet to money in the bank 💰 only takes 10 days.

About the Author
Galileo Ventures is a VC-accelerator supporting the world's most ambitious emerging founders.
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