Sulake Corp., parent company of Habbo, one of the most heavily-trafficked, advertiser-friendly virtual worlds for teens, is privately held, so financial details about Habbo have been a bit of a black box. But the company recently served up some details: It says it brought in roughly $74 million (50 million euros) in revenue last year. And just about $60 million of it, or 80-85 percent, came from users who bought virtual goods like furniture, clothing or paid for access to the Habbo Club.
The remaining 15-20 percent of revenue came from ads and sponsorship sales to brands like *Nokia*, Burger King and Paramount Pictures. Sulake also said it ended the year with an EBITDA of about $7 million (4.8 million euros) and a “positive net result.” Given the recent investments in gaming and social media startups that have virtual goods potential, it’s a look into how viable the business model is.
“A large part of our revenue comes from user micro-transactions with low monetary value and these type of low cost entertainment/communication services typically survive well over more difficult times,” CFO Outi Henriksson said, in an emailed statement. As for ad sales, Henriksson (pictured) said they were “stable,” but that the company was prepped for a slowdown: “Deals may get shorter, but volume is still there.