Matchbox.io Has Acquired All of Opearlo’s Alexa Skills, Including the Top Rated Productivity Skill Find My Phone
Matchbox.io, the Washingon, D.C.-based developer of games and educational voice experiences for Amazon Alexa and Samsung Bixby, announced this morning that it has acquired London-based Opearlo. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Matchbox.io is best known for its Question of the Day Alexa skill which currently is seventh in total ratings by users in the U.S. Alexa skill store with nearly 15,000 reviews and a 4.7 average rating. The company claims to have served over 4.5 million users in eight countries and three languages with its three current Alexa skills.
With the acquisition, Matchbox.io picks up several popular Alexa skills including the top-rated Alexa skill in the productivity category, Find My Phone. The Find My Phone skill also has the fourth most reviews in the Alexa skill store with over 24,000 and a 4.3 average rating. In total, Matchbox.io is acquiring 10 Alexa skills in the transaction.
“Opearlo’s portfolio of educational games and interactive stories are a perfect synergy to Matchbox’s iconic Question of the Day skill, and its junior version Kids Quiz. Together with Riddle of the Day and Animal Rescue, these 4 skills make for a strong market share of the Entertainment category on the Alexa platform. When you combine this with the incredibly popular Opearlo skill Find My Phone, it’s clear that Matchbox has been able to accelerate their strategy and rapidly expand their network of voice apps through this acquisition,” commented Jess Williams, co-founder and CEO of Opearlo.
Cross Promotion and Voice App Strategy
Joel Wilson, Founder and CEO of Matchbox.io, in an interview with Voicebot commented, “The tech they created is top-notch. The portfolio fits nicely with ours. An immediate benefit is that we can increase the top of the funnel [marketing] for our Question of the Day skill by using cross-promotion.”
The tech they created is top-notch.
The cross-promotion comment refers to the Alexa policy that permits developers to promote other skills in their portfolio while a user is engaged in one of their own Alexa skills. This is not permitted for skills created by other developers which is part of the partial ban on advertising that Amazon has implemented for third-party Alexa developers. Taking on a popular skill like Find My Phone provides a large audience that can be introduced to Question of the Day and other Matchbox.io properties.
Established by Jess Williams and Oscar Merry in 2016, Opearlo grew out of the experience the two founders had creating Alexa skills while working at Accenture in 2015. They soon landed a project with Unilever and Diageo building custom Alexa skills. However, in 2017, the company shifted focus to building its own games and productivity tools, were accepted to the Y Combinator accelerator in Silicon Valley, and established the company as Life Bot.
Williams and Merry were guests of the Voicebot Podcast Episode 7 shortly after completing the Y Combinator program. At the time, they were focused on a skill that was essentially a voice app concierge called Life Bot. You could ask Life Bot to perform a number of tasks ranging from finding your phone to playing a game. Eventually, Williams and Merry recognized that unbundling the features within Life Bot would lead to more usage. That led to a new focus on individual Alexa skills such as Find My Phone, Panda Rescue and Guess My Name. Willaims discussed the company’s approach to successfully launching these new Alexa skills in Voicebot Podcast Episode 57.
As to the plans of the Opearlo founders, Jess Williams commented, “My journey creating voice apps ends here, for now, and I won’t be joining the team. It’s been an incredible 3.5 years, but it’s time for a new chapter.” Oscar Merry is expected to continue working in the voice industry.