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It is hard to attract investment during a crisis. Business angels and funds have suspended their activity: everyone is waiting for markets to open, certainty and new post-crisis metrics to appear. Therefore, if the project manages to get investments even in such conditions, it deserves special attention. In the beginning of April, the Belarusian startup GamePad raised $65 thousand. This is the second project that went through the entire cycle of the Rocket DAO ecosystem, which “raised” investments.
We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
GamePad is a gaming platform inside of a Telegram messenger. Up until recently, there was no possibility in the messenger to launch fully-developed games with graphics which are written on the HTML5. All “games” are presented in the form of a text quest with the chat-bot or solutions on external platforms. GamePad has closed these gaps by launching @GamePadBot in the messenger and choosing any game you can play games of different genres for free. You don’t need to register or download any additional software.
Games are working on external servers but displayed in the Telegram browser through the API. Studios which are interested in cooperation, can conclude a contract with GamePad, then add their game on the platform and start earning money on a new channel. The startup plans to earn money on in-game purchases, built-in advertising and subscription on games.
More details about GamePad are in this article.
The residents of the brand new early-stage investors’ club investclub.vc invested in Game Pad: Volat Capital investments company, Alexandr Shkel — a business angel from Belarus and Valentin Zavgorodnev — a business angel from the US. In total, the startup has attracted $65 thousand.
Approximately 80% of the sum will be spent on traffic acquisition. GamePad has a low user acquisition price — one new player costs 5–8 cents max (it is one order less than in Google Play or App Store). Investments allow adding a few thousand people to the platform.
All the parties to the transaction are members of the investors club investclub.vc. The club was created for business angels and venture funds who are actively investing in startups of the early stages. We send traction reports of the startups from the Rocket DAO pipeline to the Club members, startups evaluation reports with an assessment of 4 parameters (product, market, business model, team) conducted by the venture fund analyst and publish announcements of the beginning of fundraising on a regular basis. To start receiving Club’s materials, become a paid member on investclub.vc.
Recently, the project applied to become a member of High technology Park.
“We prepared the documents in 4 days: all metrics are known and the business plan is completed. Becoming an HTP member will help us to attract a new financing round in the form of a converted loan — the new Decree allows this. Many thanks to “Sysouev, Bondar and partners LLC” for helping to seamlessly conclude this deal” — says Pavel Kuznetsov, GamePad CEO.
As explained by Pavel, the investors’ interest has highly increased and now there are other business angels who want to participate in the next round. The main task is to show the growth of the player-base, thereby proving to investors that the business model was chosen correctly and the startup can significantly increase its capitalization.
Up until now, the startup hadn’t spent large sums on advertising and marketing: platform’s infrastructure wasn’t ready for the player influx. But even small injections of purchased traffic encourage optimism. Recently, the project attracted 2000 users — each cost no more than 3 cents. But it isn’t enough to just attract — you still have to keep a lid on it. User retention is also doing fine: in one partners’ game, the Retention of the first day selection was 45%, of the 7th day — 27%, and by the end of the month — 20%.
“Telegram turns into a full-fledged and fast-growing platform. Quite likely that games will become a large and prospective niche on the platform. And the game app store could not have come at a better time,” — Valentin Zavgorodnev about the solution to invest in the project.
The GamePad’s team has all the required expertise to take the leading place in the industry, and hopefully, enter other platforms and markets in the future. The launch of TON-cryptocurrency and its possible integration with Telegram-client will positively affect game monetization. It will help to increase player involvement and will become the growth-driver for GamePad”.
Current GamePad goal is to check the working efficiency of the model on the European audience and monetize the project. In Europe, more than 100 million people use Telegram and this number continues to rise. During the quarantine, the English-speaking segment has organically risen for 10–15%, and this shows that users are highly interested in the new platform.
GamePad is planning to gather the audience of 150 million people in three years by buying adverts on different channels. These are citizens from countries with developed economies and potential platform users.
“Now we are preparing for the influx of new players and developing a range of technical tasks. We are moving to Amazon servers, linking up Apple Pay payments, boosting the engine, launching the internal end-to-end analytic panel for us and for developers. Also, we are negotiating with a dozen game-studios”, — telling Pavel Kuznetsov.
“Our plan is to have more than 100 thousand active users and reach self-sufficiency. Also, we’re planning to work with other messengers so we’re negotiating about the integration with them.”
GamePad accepts applications from game-studios that are interested in partnership with a platform. The new Game Store in Telegram is a great opportunity to earn money and scale to a million-strong audience.