Tell us about yourself?
Mundi Vondi is the Co-Founder and CEO of Klang Games, a gaming studio located in the heart of lively Kreuzberg, Berlin. Klang’s main project is SEED, a large-scale, persistent virtual world. The game takes place on the newly found planet of Avesta, and offers players the opportunity to collaborate, build community, and shape the world around them. Originally from Iceland, Mundi has been based in Berlin for 9 years. Throughout his career he has explored many different fields, having worked in fashion, music, film, and art. Now fully immersed in the gaming industry, Mundi is an integral part of Klang’s team of about 70 employees (and growing) that are working to create a game that will reinvent what it means to play together online.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
One big misconception is that you need to work around the clock, sacrificing your health and work-life balance. That is not the way that we do things at Klang. We believe that in order to have a dynamic and functioning team, everyone needs to take care of themselves, and each other for that matter. We encourage our employees to take their holidays, socialize together, and enjoy the little things. That way people are more motivated and energized in the long run, which is something that is essential to a successful startup.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
It would be to try not to rush and enjoy the ride. It is really easy to get completely caught up in the hamster wheel of entrepreneurship, and if you don’t remember to enjoy the process, time just flies. Now I try to remind myself to savor the adventure, even the failures. Every experience has something to teach you.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
Having a background in so many other fields has really given me an advantage in game development. Not only do I have connections and contacts in many different areas, I’m also able to tie together these different disciplines into my current work. It is almost as if I am weaving together all of the lessons I have learned and skills I have cultivated into the creation of SEED.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
I know I mentioned how at Klang we encourage our employees to cultivate a good work-life balance, but for a long time I didn’t follow this same advice. This led to me experiencing a lot of burn out, which was pretty debilitating. I have since learned that it is okay to take breaks, prioritize health and wellness, and even say no to people sometimes. I really enjoy my work, so it can be difficult to know when I need a break, but since I have started focusing more on balance both my lifestyle and my work have improved.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
Both Klang Games and SEED are focused on creating a positive impact on humanity. We are developing SEED as a game that is focused on bringing people together and creating community. I have always loved playing multiplayer games where people can interact and build things together, and SEED is just that but on a much larger scale. Additionally, we are also very interested in exploring the future of humanity with our players, and despite the bigger global problems that we are currently facing, our player’s attitudes give us hope that there is a bright future ahead of us. We are diving into these themes, through both the game and our other media projects like our podcast The Life Cycle.
Where do you see your business in five years?
We are really focused on growth in the next year (aiming to double our current size) and that growth will hopefully expand into the next five years. Within the area of growth we have been and will continue to prioritize diversity. We want to carry on being a welcoming space where all walks of life have a chance to work with us and influence the game that we are creating. Out of our roundabout 70 employees we have people from 30 different nationalities and we anticipate that number growing! Furthermore we hope to grow, succeed, and even fail. At Klang we are big believers in the idea that failure leads to success, and we are excited to learn from our mistakes to create an even better game.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
In a startup like Klang, having a dedicated and talented team behind the product is always important. Like I said, we are currently looking to fill a lot of new positions, and sometimes it can be a challenge to find the perfect fit for those positions. However, I have trust in the fact that we will find the best people for our team because of the accomplished and enthusiastic employees we already have. Another challenge we face is keeping people excited and engaged with a game that is not released yet. To combat this we try to involve people in other ways, through things like our playtests and our podcast. Luckily we have a strong community that are very involved and supportive of our vision.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
We are really excited and proud about our recent successful round of funding. Thanks to our investors we just raised $41 million, which we are so grateful for! It shows us that our investors and our community believe in our vision for Klang and SEED, which is an amazing feeling. Also successfully fundraising during this time of economic crisis gives us a lot of stability and strength to continue growing our company and our game.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
You can find us on our website: https://www.klang-games.com/. Here you can keep up to date with our blog and other important news. You can also follow us on our various social media channels (instagram, facebook, twitter, Linkedin, and Discord). Plus, if you are interested in getting more involved, learning about the game’s development, or becoming a playtester you can go to our online portal:https://www.seed-online.com/. I think the best products sell themselves, and SEED is no different. Once people dive into the world we are creating they are hooked!
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Be brave and be bold! It is always important to know what you realistically can accomplish, but don’t let fear and discouragement get in the way of your vision. The majority of successful startup founders self proclaim to be a little bit crazy, because that’s where the inspiration and drive comes from. Trust your vision.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
The future is definitely bright! I am looking forward to the continued expansion and evolution of both Klang and SEED as an IP. We have an amazing, passionate team and so much ahead of us. I also can’t wait to see all the different communities and connections that our game helps cultivate in the future. It is really rewarding to already see playtesters interact with the game in meaningful and fun ways. For myself personally, I hope that the future brings more inspiration and collaboration with all the amazing people that I am surrounded by.