Small game, application developers take it to the next level with microfinance

With inflation soaring, consumer spending could be ripe for a pullback.

But at least some industries – the recipients of disposable income – are more resilient than others.

Olya Caliujnaia, co-founder and CEO of Sanlo, told PYMNTS that there is an insatiable need for people to be entertained, have fun, and combat the lingering pressures of the pandemic with a little fun – and the gambling apps seem to be relatively immune to the pressures of the macro economy.

The metaverse is shaping up as a huge tailwind for immersive digital experiences. The pie is huge and growing, presenting a new opportunity for companies and developers striving to bring new games to market quickly, monetizing consumer demand.

See also: Sony Says It’s Ready to Enter the Metaverse

But dig a little deeper, and a derivative of that old 80/20 rule in business is a bit skewed in gaming: around 90% of revenue and market comes from 10% of companies, including huge dominant players, and that’s where the capital is concentrated.

This leaves little wiggle room for the 15 million small developers worldwide – ranging from two-person stores up to 200 people – who need capital to get their concepts off the ground, after making the jump to development, testing and deployment. These companies too must be fiscally responsible in a difficult operating environment.

The belt-tightening comes amid a huge burst of creativity and experimentation in the developer community around mixing and matching different genres to create ever more engaging experiences.

The goal, Caliujnaia said, now and always, “is first to exist, then to survive…and then to thrive.”

To do that, these developers need access to cash — and better data to show them how they’re managing their capital wisely, using it to embark on new growth initiatives. They may see the potential in a game or app, but they may not have the proper funding to take advantage of the opportunities.

Caliujnaia said the traditional funding model was one where fledglings tended to sell stakes in exchange for funding from venture capital (VC) firms and other partnerships.

But platforms, including Sanlo, can level the playing field between the smallest developers and the biggest gaming giants, providing the funding newcomers need. Platforms can also provide a one-stop shop where developers can distribute their products and can engage and ultimately monetize their audience.

Financing for growth and development

The conversation took place against the backdrop of Sanlo saying Thursday (June 2) that it had closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Konvoy Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in gaming platforms and technologies.

The company has also partnered with HCGFunds to increase its capital fund for developers to $200 million in additional debt funding – a cash pool dedicated specifically to helping entrepreneurs grow their products and teams. Caliujnaia said the funding is intended to help Sanlo accelerate its growth and strengthen its engineering and product teams.

Related: B2B FinTechs Bridge the Gap Between Banks and Enterprises with New Funding

In terms of mechanics, the company’s platform helps developers figure out how best to use funding. This platform collects and analyzes data from enterprise customers looking at the popularity and growth of apps and games with end customers.

“You have to pay attention to the data, the signals that are in your products that indicate whether they will succeed or not,” she said.

As she told PYMNTS, “The majority of developers we’ve seen and worked with don’t necessarily operate on a lavish schedule, where they can develop for years and years and have no results. They watch for any sign of existential threat.

The platform’s financial intelligence tool is free, she said. Additionally, the Sanlo platform consolidates banking and accounting information, presenting this data side-by-side with the aggregate revenue streams that developers generate from different sources. The holistic data, she said, helps show whether the money is (hypothetically) coming from Apple’s or Google’s ad networks, and how the money generated should be plowed back into developer business.

“Depending on if you’re going to become profitable, or if you’re already profitable, or if there’s a threat,” Caliujnaia said, developers might want to take advantage of the non-dilutive capital Sanlo offers.

As she said, for developers, “there’s real autonomy that comes from knowing where you are, knowing how you’re doing, and then having access to resources to execute” the plans. .

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE CUSTOM PURCHASING EXPERIENCE STUDY – MAY 2022

About: PYMNTS’ survey of 2,094 consumers for The Tailored Shopping Experience report, a collaboration with Elastic Path, shows where merchants are succeeding and where they need to up their game to deliver a personalized shopping experience.

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