Women-Led Melbourne Studio Secures Record Funding For Viral Wellness Game

Women-Led Melbourne Studio Secures Record Funding For Viral Wellness Game
Image: Kinder World, Lumi Interactive

Melbourne developer Lumi Interactive has secured a massive $AU9.76 million in VC seed funding, the largest to date for any women-led studio in Australia.

The seed round was led by a16z, with investments from 1Up Ventures, Galileo Ventures, Eric Seufert’s Heracles Capital, and Double Loop Games CEO Emily Greer. The funding also appears to be remarkably string-free: no crypto BS attached. No weird monetisation demands. The funding exists to help the game continue development as normal, and execute its vision without interference. It truly would be a kinder world if all funding rounds went as smoothly as this.

Lumi Interactive is currently developing Kinder World, a free mobile game about taking care of digital houseplants (and themselves IRL). The game is built on the concept of ‘crowdhealing’, informed by the studio’s full-time wellbeing researcher, Dr. Hannah C. Gunderman, Ph.D.

Kinder World encourages players to engage in small acts of kindness throughout their day – emotional naming, daily gratitude, etc – and sharing their “kindfulness” with other players as a way to bolster individual and communal wellbeing.

“These past few years have been anything but kind,” said co-founder and CEO Lauren Clinnick in a press release, “but even in the depths of Melbourne’s long lockdowns, my small team saw how everyday acts of compassion, to ourselves and others, could make the world seem like a kinder place.”

The game has built a cult following on TikTok, and Lumi has used their feedback to inform production decisions.

Kinder World is in alpha on Android and iOS platforms and expects to launch in late 2022. No doubt this massive surge of funding will give Lumi everything it needs to propel Kinder World over the finish line and beyond.

You can find out more about Lumi Interactive here, and check out Kinder World at its official website.

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