Ethiopia, Addis Ababa –

Driving African culture to the peak of global recognition and accurate representation through gaming, Gebeta, a product of Qene Games, has been acquired by Carry1st, Africa’s leading mobile games and interactive content publisher.

Gebeta is a mobile board game built on the mancala games principles, but more engaging. Released in 2019, the game quickly gained high engagement and added to its quality visuals, it stood out from most others, winning the 2020 AppsAfrica Best App of the Year award.

Carry1st initially entered into a global multi-year partnership with the Ethiopia-based developer, Qene Games, to publish Gebeta in November 2020. Being a renowned games publisher, Carry1st’s capabilities in handling the game would enhance its development and success as an African-made game.

Conversations about the acquisition kicked off earlier in the partnership when both companies saw a potential for mutual profitability and deeper considerations left a conclusion that it would facilitate a successful mission.

Founder of Qene Games, Dawit Abraham, says: “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.”

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

Qene Games will continue working with Carry1st on the growth and development of Gebeta to reach its full potential, but in a much more limited capacity, and will also handle publishing of the game in the original market of Ethiopia.

The developer has been making waves as a pan-African game studio by launching fun & premium quality mobile games, including the recently launched Kinet, a unique platform for game monetization in Africa, offering 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 expand its own library with engaging and entertaining games. Additionally, the gaming company is looking to establish larger partnerships with various technology providers in the African gaming industry to further expand its role in the scene.

Carry1st plans to significantly increase the resources dedicated to developing Gebeta and preparing it for a global launch. The company foresees Gebeta becoming one of the most recognizable Mancala titles available in the market.

Cordel Robbin-Coker, Co-Founder / CEO of Carry1st says: “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.”

About Qene Games

Qene Games is a venture-backed startup building original African games and publishing existing games that inspire the next generation to imagine a better world. Qene aims to develop gaming capacity on the African continent by mentoring, recruiting and up-skilling African game developers. Qene Games is the first game development studio in Ethiopia. The creator of Kukulu, Gebeta, Feta and Tras mobile games, Qene won the best entertainment app and best app of the year at the Apps Africa Awards for its first two games.

For more media enquiries, visit Qene Games’ official website or reach out to

About Carry 1st

Carry1st is Africa’s leading publisher of games and digital content. Operating at the intersection of games, fintech, and web3, its mission is to scale awesome content in frontier markets by solving hard problems. Carry1st develops, licenses, and publishes games and monetizes them effectively with Pay1st, a proprietary payments and online marketplace to better monetize content in the region.  The company has scaled games such as Call of Duty®: Mobile, Mine Rescue, and SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off. Founded in 2018, the company is backed by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BITKRAFT, Google, and Riot Games. 

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