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Yonatan Raz-Fridman, CEO of Supersocial — Interview Series

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Yonatan Raz-Fridman, CEO of Supersocial

As the ever-popular metaverse that orbits Roblox continues to evolve and broaden its horizons, Supersocial—a pioneer in creating evergreen experiences for gamers of all skill sets and backgrounds—also continues to latch on to new and exciting ways to elevate its potential. To learn a bit more about the studio’s ongoing efforts to improve Roblox, we decided to catch up with CEO Yonatan Raz-Fridman.

Hi, Yon — thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Could you please introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you, and how did it all begin?

Yon: Of course! I am, first and foremost, an entrepreneur. I am the CEO and founder of Supersocial, a pioneering developer and publisher of virtual worlds that collaborates with the world’s greatest brands and IP on publishing boundary-pushing experiences that feel authentic and meaningful to metaverse natives. I envision the Internet rapidly evolving into a real-time 3D Internet. Supersocial aspires to become the leading studio building games and experiences for this new frontier. At Supersocial, I’ve worked to curate a unique team with robust Roblox expertise and consumer experience. Together, we pride ourselves on creating cutting-edge virtual experiences for digital communities. I am also a proud graduate of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program and served as an Operations Team Lead in the IDF. and before Supersocial, I co-founded Kano Computing, a pioneering educational consumer electronics company. 

Speaking of Supersocial, please could you tell us a bit more about it? When was the studio founded, and what led you to establish a foothold in the Roblox sphere?

Yon: Supersocial was founded in June of 2020. We are a metaverse games studio with a mission of building boundary-pushing virtual worlds that feel authentic and meaningful to metaverse natives – primarily, this today means Gen-Alpha and Gen-Z audiences. By developing virtual worlds on Roblox with brands and IP owners such as NARS Cosmetics, e.l.f. Beauty, Warner Bros., Gucci, Walmart, and Universal Music Group, we are disrupting how iconic legacy brands engage with their audiences, and believe that platforms like Roblox and Fortnite are at an inflection point of becoming the go-to platforms for brands to engage with the next generation of consumers and establish relationships that will drive business growth. 

So tell us — why Roblox? Has the idea of exploring the metaverse always been in your best interest?

Yon: I’ve always been a major proponent of the metaverse – the metaverse speaks to a long-term vision of transitioning the internet from 2D to 3D experiences. Platforms like Roblox, Fortnite, and others continue to push us closer to the ultimate vision of the metaverse. Roblox may be the closest to achieving that today, but it still represents what I call an “early proof of concept” of what the true metaverse will look like.

It’s worth noting that we are very much still in the early days of building persistent, massive-scale, interconnected 3D experiences. Only two years ago, there were very few brands activating on metaverse platforms like Roblox – for many, it was an exploration phase. Today, thousands of brands are finding ways to creatively push boundaries virtually, and we have only scratched the surface of the tremendous potential for activations and growth opportunities. 

Supersocial Experience Showcase | Roblox Showreel 2024

Of course, the metaverse is only continuing to evolve, too. Do you have any plans to broaden your horizons by dipping your toes into other worlds in the foreseeable future?

Yon: Looking ahead, Supersocial remains committed to its vision as an innovator and category leader. Building on last year’s success, we aim to expand the company’s presence across next-gen platforms beyond Roblox, leveraging emerging technologies to create unique immersive experiences. At Supersocial, we are passionate about spearheading the next wave of entertainment and commerce integration into Roblox and beyond – and are working to double our business. In pushing the boundaries of what's possible in metaverse-type platforms, Supersocial can play a key role in shaping the future of social, entertainment, and commerce and redefining how people connect, socialize, and express themselves.

Could you tell us a bit more about some of the games that you’ve developed for the Roblox platform? Do you have a personal favorite that you’d recommend to newcomers?

Yon: We built a really awesome virtual world for e.l.f. cosmetics with “e.l.f. UP!”. The goal was to inspire Gen Z and Alpha to strengthen their entrepreneurship skills by building a sandbox where people can customize their dream startups and learn financial literacy and business skills along the way. Through e.l.f. UP!, we created a community that can follow their dreams, gain business confidence, and empower the next generation of changemakers. Transcending the screen, gamers garner transferable skills for the real world. The experience already has more than 11 million play sessions and the highest rating of any branded beauty experience on Roblox. We also created NARS Color Quest and NARS Sweet Rush, which together are the biggest branded beauty experience ever created on Roblox. Delighted to also share that Supersocial is the studio behind bringing the iconic “Elf” movie to Roblox through Elf North Pole Workshop and the creator of Beat Galaxy, a persistent music world that brings artists like YUNGBLUD!, Kid Cudi, and Mae Stephens to life in a 3D virtual setting – with more artists taking over this virtual space throughout the year! Supersocial also develops owned original IP, such as Ghostopia and Ballista, pushing the boundaries of gameplay and aesthetics on Roblox.   

You’ve also recently launched several brand experiences for Roblox, too—Gucci, NARS, and e.l.f. Beauty, to list just a few. What inspired this decision to branch out to fashion shows?

Yon: For context, Roblox has nearly 78 million daily active users in the 4th quarter of 2023, where each spent 2.4 hours per day on the platform. Daily time spent per Roblox user in the U.S. and Canada is about 3-5X more per day than those on TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat. Last year, Robloxians purchased 139 million different hairstyles to equip on their avatars, and overall, they purchased 1.6 billion digital fashion items. These numbers indicate robust engagement and advertising opportunities will continue to emerge. 

Our vision is to build brand awareness and help brands deepen relationships with users on these platforms. In launching a metaverse fashion show and branching into these industries – were able to create a community of superfans that boost engagement (on and off the platform), acquire new customers, and experiment with virtual monetization. Later this year, platforms like Roblox will begin facilitating real-world commerce, which can help brands – especially those in beauty and fashion – drive even deeper real-world business outcomes directly impacting the bottom line.

What’s the best way to stay up to date with Supersocial? Are there any important newsletters or social channels that we can share with our community?

Yon: Follow us on Linkedin and subscribe to our “Into The Metaverse,” a leading industry podcast and newsletter. It is a great way to keep up with the space, Supersocial, and me. Episodes explore the intersection of technology, business, and the metaverse for investors, corporate leaders, and professionals. 

Any final words for our readers?

Yon: Recent reports of Roblox have claimed they are garnering 77.7 million daily active users across 190 countries, and it’s apparent that the space is just getting started. Supersocial Experiences has accrued 36 million unique users, generated 802 million ad impressions on the Roblox platform, and totaled 25 million hours of playtime. While the media has taken a skeptical approach to the metaverse, the industry is at a pivotal point of transformation, leaving businesses with the crucial decision of whether to harness the power of this emerging space or to be left behind. I hope to continue inspiring and sharing my knowledge on navigating the rapidly evolving metaverse landscape and how we can capitalize on its potential. 

Thanks for your time, Yon!

 

For more information on Supersocial’s latest and upcoming projects, be sure to visit the official social channel here. Alternatively, you can check in with the website for even more updates here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at gaming.net. If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.