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Fintech Gaming Startup Sanlo’s Webshop Tool Could Reduce App Store Fees for Developers

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 28, 2024
Fintech Gaming Startup Sanlo's Webshop Tool Could Reduce App Store Fees for Developers

Fintech Gaming Startup Sanlo’s Webshop Tool Could Reduce App Store Fees for Developers

Sanlo, a fintech startup established in 2020, announced the closed beta launch of its new webshop tool designed specifically for game developers and studios.

This tool is designed to integrate seamlessly with existing technology stacks of game developers and studios, enabling developers to bypass the hefty 30% in-app purchase fees imposed by major app stores like Google and Apple. Game developers can now sign up to demo this new tool, as announced by Sanlo on Wednesday.

What Promotional Features Does Sanlo’s Webshop Offer?

The newly launched webshop tool by Sanlo provides a variety of promotional features, including:

  • Exclusive digital items
  • Bundle packs
  • Discounted offers
  • Loyalty programs

These features aim to attract more players and enhance revenue, with Sanlo claiming that developers could see up to a 25% increase in revenue through direct sales via these webshops. The tool also allows developers to access and analyze player data to tailor individual user experiences and promotions effectively.

Addressing Developer Discontent with App Store Fees

Sanlo’s approach comes in response to the growing discontent among game developers regarding the high fees charged by traditional app stores. This sentiment has been notably voiced by gaming industry giant Epic, which has criticized Apple’s fee structure as predatory, especially towards smaller companies. In shifting towards webshops, developers hope to retain a larger share of their revenue by facilitating sales directly on their own platforms, where transaction fees are significantly lower, ranging from 4% to 10%.

Despite the advantages, there are challenges, particularly with app store policies that restrict advertising these external webshops within the mobile games themselves. To mitigate this, Sanlo provides marketing tools that include:

  • In-game prompts to promote the webshop
  • Email campaigns targeting returning visitors
  • ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) attribution tracking to optimize advertising spend

The Early Adopters of Sanlo’s Webshop Tool

Among the early users of Sanlo’s webshop tool is Fusebox Games, a developer known for its mobile games based on the “Love Island” IP. Terry Lee, COO of Fusebox Games, praised the plug-and-play nature of Sanlo’s tool and the comprehensive support it offers, which is particularly beneficial for smaller companies like theirs that may lack extensive internal resources.

Sanlo, co-founded in 2020 by Olya Caliujnaia and William Liu, has built a team with experience from major companies including Capital One, Earnest, Electronic Arts, Facebook, SigFig, Sony PlayStation, and Visa. The company has raised a total of $13.5 million from investors such as Initial Capital, Index Ventures, Portage Ventures, XYZ Venture Capital, London Venture Partners, and Konvoy. Sanlo aims to make this webshop tool available to all developers by the summer.

Other companies have also explored webstore solutions, with established firms like Xsolla and newer entrants like Appcharge paving the way. Popular games such as Clash of Clans, Game of Thrones: Conquest, Marvel Strike Force, and Star Trek Fleet Command have already adopted webshop platforms, reflecting a broader trend within the gaming industry towards this monetization strategy.

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Featured Image courtesy of Sanlo

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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