Three Tips for Fueling Sustainable Success
Mobile gaming companies have had a lot to deal with in 2020 — for better or worse. From increased downloads to decreased in-app spending, Mobile Gaming CFO Insights host Peggy Anne Salz is exploring the challenges of 2020 in this new series, starting with Adam Banks of Viker. CFOs are the people charged with financial control and planning in their organizations, balancing the need to grow with the right way to fund it, and they have a lot to teach us.
Viker is an indie mobile game development studio in the U.K., specializing in developing casino action and puzzle games — best known for titles including Scratch Day and BoxTuber. Head of Finance, Banks shared the tips and strategies Viker relies on to make sure it approaches growth wisely.
Keep the finance and UA teams in close contact
As a relatively new studio, Viker’s user acquisition strategy has been conservative. “So we can't just run away with it and go stupid on user acquisition,” says Banks. Instead the company has been slowly building its efforts. This means the finance team has to work closely with the UA team to make sure the strategies are aligned.
To keep in close touch, Banks says, “We have a data catch up once a day with the UA team and we also have a commercial meeting twice a week, just to kind of focus on what the strategy is going to be, how we're going to be implementing the UA spend.”
Stay accountable to the data
Part of making good decisions that take into account all the concerns of a new business means evaluating your data regularly — and truly digging into what it’s telling you. You have to look beyond just the CPIs and toward retention rates and LTV to make the best decisions about where you’re placing your UA budget.
“It's all about that kind of a return on that investment,” says Banks. “That's the critical thing for the business, from my perspective at present.” Staying focused on the data and results means you can hold people accountable for what they’re spending.
When data tells you a campaign isn’t delivering, then it’s time to investigate. Banks says, “We've got KPI targets in mind all the time and if things aren't reaching those levels that we're expecting, then it's, what's going wrong? How can we fix it straight away?”
Fund your growth wisely
Eventually every app has to make some decisions about the smartest ways to fund its growth. Angel investors are one option, and Banks says they bring more than just money to the table: “We thought if we surrounded ourselves by a team of people who've been there and done that in the industry, they can bring some really valuable knowledge experience and also some contacts... Looking at deals outside of just the standard gaming, looking at [opportunities] with IP, where we're bringing on a known quantity that can bring in a lot of organic traffic for us.”
But Viker has also turned to other forms of funding, including Pollen VC, which allows the company to leverage unpaid platform revenues to fund UA now. Banks adds that this solution is “essentially cheaper” and points out that “you're giving away less equity.” By borrowing against ad network and app store earnings Viker is able to use this as an efficient source of capital to fuel more growth.
To learn more about how Banks and the Viker team approach growth through smart, data-driven decision making, tune into the entire interview above.
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