Case Study Feature Ducky

Ducky is a fast growing hyper casual games publisher based in Moscow, Russia. Founded by Alisher Yakubov and Ivan Fedyanin, who had previously worked at Mail.Ru Game Ventures, the founding team have 38 years of gaming experience between them across mobile and PC, but are capitalizing on the current market buzz in the hyper casual space.

Pollen VC and Ducky have been working together since 2020. As a hyper casual publisher, the ability to scale quickly was important to them, and they required an additional credit facility to work in tandem with their existing credit lines from the ad networks. With the help of Pollen VC’s revolving credit facility, Ducky was able to continue to scale their games, even when ad network credit lines were maxed out.

$1Ma month in revenue within 9 months
More control to founders

The Problem

Don't have enough cash to trap in marketing cycle
Need to spend up to $100k/day
Don't want to raise at low valuation

The Challenge

When scaling hit games, Ducky found they could quickly max out their existing credit facilities. They required funding that gave them fast access to additional capital in order to pay down their ad network credit facilities and continue to spend in the all important scale up phase.

Alisher recalls the drawbacks involved in trying to scale new hyper casual games: “When a new game starts to scale, it requires a lot of marketing budget. In the first month, the marketing budget becomes particularly huge - averaging at $50,000 per platform, per day. We invest in future revenues obtained from players watching ads within our game. To receive the revenue earned depends on the partners we work with and their terms. So for the first few months, while UA investment is high, we needed a way to bridge the gap between funding UA and receiving earned revenues.”

In addition, in the hyper casual genre, there is heightened competition amongst similar games with a short window of opportunity to get it right. “There are a lot of developers watching for market trends and they are ready to clone games or create something similar. This means we have to compete against the speed of production; there is not a lot of time to do this as games become less and less compelling for the ad networks to be marketable,” says Alisher.

Time is of the essence to make hyper casual games profitable hits. It was important for Ducky to seek additional funding that could pay out quickly during the pivotal stages of their games’ development. Alisher shares his experience on deciding why Pollen VC was a suitable partner: “Pollen VC helped us to tighten up operations as we could obtain the owed revenues stuck in payment delays. We were quickly able to receive the money due and invest back into marketing - it helped us to fix the cash gaps in the company.”

Behind the scenes with Ducky
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Results

Since working with Pollen VC, “we were able to scale our first project efficiently using less equity funding, and ultimately achieve a higher valuation for our company than we would if we had used equity to fund UA at the beginning,” says Alisher. Having this extra line of credit helped Ducky reinvest their revenues much faster through working with Pollen VC. In fact, within nine months of working with Pollen VC, Ducky was generating over $1M per month in revenue with over 145 million plays. This represents a great opportunity for anyone seeking a more efficient way to fund their marketing campaigns,” adds Alisher.

Generated $1M in revenue within nine months
89 million installs over 8 scaled hits
Worked with >600 dev teams from all over the world
Grew team to 23 people