With Blackstone’s backing, Murka stakes a claim in social casino games

In the saturated social casino game market, it isn’t easy to battle the big brands. But that’s the challenge that Murka, a smaller player in Ukraine, has undertaken with some success. Through growth that accelerated this year, Murka has become a top 10 player with five million monthly active users.

While it still has a tiny share of the $6.2 billion social casino game market, Murka has grown 40% this year as users play more during the pandemic, partly because its slot machine games are more like role-playing games.

Over a decade, the Kyiv, Ukraine-based company has emerged from a small startup to more than 550 employees across five offices. It was acquired last year by mega investor Blackstone Group, a private equity firm. Blackstone also owns casino properties such as The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas as well as Vungle, a performance marketing firm. Blackstone’s revenues last year were $7.3

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The Technology 202: Trump administration block on TikTok downloads raises stakes in negotiations

The Trump administration’s move could put greater pressure on ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, to accept more concessions in a deal to keep operating, said Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, who called the announcement “shocking” in an email. 

“We continue to believe this is a game of high stakes poker and this move put sharp teeth into threats by the Trump administration around the TikTok and WeChat bans,” Ives said.  

The ban designed to prevent Google and Apple’s stores from allowing new downloads or routine app updates for U.S. users is only the beginning.

The department also said it would be illegal to host or transfer internet traffic associated with WeChat beginning on Sunday, and to do so with TikTok beginning Nov. 12. The administration reserved the right to prohibit additional restrictions in the future, if the companies find other ways to operate in the United States despite

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