Dreadnought Finance Oy and Leena Niemistö invest into Gajatri Studios

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Gajatri Studios, well-being focused games development studio, are excited to announce their first equity based seed funding round from Juha, Johanna and Julia Jouhki’s investment company and Leena Niemistö, who recently sold her ownership in Dextra.

Gajatri Studios was created to be an innovative and unique proposition within the casual gaming space; a well-being games company creating fun and engaging mobile and social games derived from authentic well-being content.

Yoga Retreat’s iPad and iPhone versions are currently being developed and will be published in May 2013. Game will not only enable players to learn real life yoga poses while playing but encourages them to get up from the sofa and try out the poses together with the game!

-    ”Our investment focus includes both lifestyle and well-being. I feel that especially women are looking for not only quality but also meaningful content from games they play so the business idea and objectives of Gajatri Studios fitted to our focus very well”, says Julia Jouhki.

-    ”I very much agree with Julia, and in addition believe that fun digital products that increase motivation to take care of your own health are a significant business opportunity now and in future”, continues Leena Niemistö.

Financing will be used for iOS products go-to-market as well as expanding the development team. Objectives for this year include succeeding in launching Yoga Retreat for mobile platforms, starting to develop second well-being game and completing another financing round together with an international investor. Julia Jouhki and Timo Lappi will join the Board of Directors.

-    ”Our team produces fun casual games based on authentic well-being content, i.e. products from where you get ideas and motivation to take care of yourself while playing. I am really happy to welcome Julia, Leena and Timo to support our systematic approach towards our targets. We share common values and are all extremely commited to the company’s success on the long run” says Founder and CEO of Gajatri Studios, Tiina Zilliacus.

Additional Details: Tiina Zilliacus, +358 40 865 6612, tiina@gajatristudios.com

Testers Wanted!

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Yoga Retreat Game is soon coming to iOS and we are now looking for game testers to help us with the finishing touches. So, want to be among the first ones to try out the new Yoga Retreat iPad version before its official release?!

If your answer is YES, and you are into casual games, own an iPad and have tried yoga even once, send us an email to info@gajatristudios.com and we’ll get back to you with further information. Make sure to mark the subject field on the e-mail as ‘game tester’ and tell a little bit about yourself as a player.

We’ll be ready to start testing in 1-2 weeks time. Exciting!!

Yoga Retreat coming to iOS!

Happy to share officially that Yoga Retreat iOS development has been started. Among other things this project has kept us pretty busy from e.g. updating this development blog!

Us by the way means again a bigger number of people than last year, ex-colleague and friend Tero Mäntylä joined Gajatri Studios from Rovio Entertainment. Both Sami and myself are truly happy to get such a senior developer to join our team. All of us have worked earlier together which makes the second time double the fun, so join us in welcoming Tero warmly to the team.

Yoga Retreat on iOS will be more need driven game than the earlier Facebook version of the IP. Customers will be wanting your constant attention. Also yoga on the sofa, i.e. trying out yourself yoga poses while playing the game, will be encouraged in the mechanics. We are super-excited about this new version already in its development phase, and obviously push to get this all out to your hands before the summer.

So a lot of good stuff ongoing. I’ll be posting now a bit more often with more details on the iOS product and our first round of equity funding!

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Slush and Stuff

Gajatri Studios is looking to raise some equity soon, and thus I’ll be presenting in two interesting (and cool) start-up events here in Helsinki during next few weeks.

This week there is an Angels Game event organized by Tekes and Finnvera Venture Capital for Finnish games companies and business angels interested in investing in games, check out for more in here: http://bit.ly/TynUyc.

Then next week there is Slush. The tech, design & start-up conference covering Northern Europe and Russia taking place here in Helsinki, check out: http://slush.fi/en/about/. Gajatri Studios has been chosen to be presenting in the Middleweight track.

So if you’re attending either or, come meet me, and hear the latest what’s up with us. Well, what can I say but it’s pretty exciting position to be the first company in the world to bring authentic well-being content into casual games format!

Courage to find out!

We have been patiently developing the game economy since the soft launch of Yoga Retreat in early August, and now it seems that in addition to a product, we also start to have a working business model. This obviously is quite a relief for a small company!

Gajatri Studios was founded a year ago to fill the white space in between casual games and well-being. When contemplating on what we’ve achieved during the first year, I realized some important things that have started to grow inside of company DNA.

First of all, we are a small team, which has made us incredibly efficient in prioritizing what we do and in which order. We’ve also conquered the fear of not launching (=fear of failure) by going to the market with partly finished product, and thus been able to start the process of endless improvement related to online games production very early on. Now, we learn and apply every week. We are a company with a product, business model and a culture of how to do things. Especially the last part makes me really happy.

But, if I’d choose one thing that will make the most difference when going forward…

I would say that the ability to tolerate the not knowing and related emptiness this inevitably brings, as well as being driven by the joy of search, is truly important within a small company. Not knowing is a profound discomfort. It makes you worried and restless. It makes people around you worried and restless. This stuff will tempt you to look for cover and fill in the pages of your business like you’ve always filled them instead of rewriting the parts that need to be rewritten. So, having the courage of not knowing and at the same time the honest discipline to find out, would be my choice!

Pioneer of the future

Many people ask me still why to make a yoga game? I’ve been trying to blog about it in here during the whole development process, but hey, one more post for the road (you can stop reading now if you already know)!

First of all, game has been made keeping in mind people who like to play casual games, and are new, or relatively new to yoga practise.

As an enthusiastic yoga practitioner myself, I often hear people tell me that they have a hurdle of going into yoga classes because they do not understand why asanas are practised, or the logic of the flow, or do not recognize the pose names etc.

If you are practising yogi or yogini with 90 min asana and 30 min pranayama practise every morning, I fully embrace the fact that this may not be THE GAME for you. Not all the people in the world are like that though..

Hundreds of millions of people are playing games online. Games tend to be mostly about war, fighting and competition. Yoga Retreat aims to be a daily gaming oasis where you can while playing, learn something new on yoga and if you so wish, make some simple exercises by the computer. Be nice to your friends, help them out, practise kindness etc.

There has been a lot of discussion lately on concept of yoga watering down, as most people perceive asana practise to equal yoga. Asana has been a very good introduction for me personally on some more subtle aspects of yoga. I also think that Krishnamacharya’s guru, who asked him to share the message in a way masses would understand, would be happy about us being excited about asana in the west. Anyway, if you do it for a long time, practise will lead you to understand that there is something more to yoga and seek for more understanding. If yogis of India decided to share yoga by introducing asana, I feel it is in the spirit of yoga to continue to innovate on how yoga practise is shared!

Don’t forget to play: http://apps.facebook.com/yogaretreat!