Gaming Startup Carry1st Acquires Gebeta for an Undisclosed Amount


Gaming startup Carry1st has acquired a mobile board game Gebeta.

The amount for this transaction has not been disclosed.

This acquisition occurs at a time when Africa’s mobile gaming industry is experiencing notable growth.

READ MORE: The State of Gaming and E-sport Space in Africa

The 2021 GSMA Mobile Economy Report states that almost 28% of the Sub-Saharan African population, or 303 million people, have a mobile internet connection, fueling the growth of mobile gaming in the continent.

Gebeta is a mobile board game that is based on the principles of mancala games but with increased engagement. It was launched in 2019 and quickly gained popularity due to its great visuals.

The game was a standout among others and won the 2020 AppsAfrica Best App of the Year award.

In November 2020, Carry1st entered into a global multi-year partnership with Ethiopia-based developer, Qene Games, to publish Gebeta.

Carry1st’s expertise in handling the game would enhance its development and success as an African-made game. Discussions about the acquisition began earlier in the partnership when both companies recognized the potential for mutual profitability. Further considerations led to the conclusion that the acquisition would facilitate their shared mission.

READ MORE: Sub-Saharan Africa Doubles Number of Gamers to 186 Million in the Last Five Years

The acquisition provides Qene Games with its first exit for a game, a long-term royalty, and validation of the quality of its products. It also allows the company to concentrate on expanding its library and growing its platform.

According to a statement, Qene Games will continue to collaborate with Carry1st on the growth and development of Gebeta, albeit in a limited capacity, and will handle the publishing of the game in its original market in Ethiopia.

The developer has established itself as a pan-African game studio by launching mobile games, including Kinet, a unique platform for game monetization in Africa that offers subscriptions, esports tournaments, in-app purchases, and ads.

Qene Games is now focusing on using Kinet to help other African game creators monetize their games and grow their own library with engaging and entertaining games.

The gaming company is seeking to establish larger partnerships with various technology providers in the African gaming industry to further its role in the scene.

Carry1st plans to increase the resources dedicated to developing Gebeta and preparing it for a global launch.


“We are thrilled to acquire Gebeta, one of the most promising free-to-play mobile games out of Africa. Mancala is culturally deeply rooted across frontier markets and Gebeta’s modern reinterpretation lays the foundation for what we believe will become a marquee mobile game in Africa and around the world. We are grateful for our partnership with Qene Games and the opportunity to continue catalyzing the mobile games industry in Africa,” says Cordel Robbin-Coker, Co-Founder/CEO of Carry1st.

“This acquisition is a significant milestone for Qene Games, as it validates the hard work and dedication of our team in creating fun and engaging games. It also opens up new opportunities for us to expand our reach and connect with a larger audience. We see this as a stepping stone for further collaborations with Carry1st, and we look forward to exploring new possibilities and opportunities for growth in the gaming industry together,” says the founder of Qene Games, Dawit Abraham.