Pollen VC said today it is launching a new user acquisition advisory service called Pollen360, which will complement the company’s existing service of providing cash advances for app makers based on their success in the app stores.
The user acquisition service is aimed at small and medium app and game startups who normally don’t have a dedicated team for running user-acquisition campaigns.
Getting users to discover a new app or game is a huge task, given competition for attention among 3 million app makers. Big mobile app makers can afford to spend a lot on user acquisition. But Pollen360 will allow developers to be smart about acquiring users, the company said.
Pollen VC is offering mobile app and game developers unbiased, one-to-one coaching sessions with a team of marketing experts on how to optimize app marketing strategy and grow a user base quickly. It’s a free service for existing clients.
Pollen VC customers will be able to access on-going guidance from Pollen’s user-acquisition experts to plan and launch user acquisition campaigns as a new addition to the Pollen VC service.
Mika Levo, head of user acquisition at Pollen VC, said in a statement, “Mobile developers need to take a holistic look at how they approach marketing, from building a brand to optimizing paid UA campaigns, otherwise it’s unlikely they will succeed, nor have a chance of making revenues. Pollen360 aims to support developers through the early stages of launching their app or game so they learn the key skills to grow their user numbers quickly and sustainably.”
In its original business, Pollen VC steps in as a middleman. It fronts money to developers so they can start capitalizing on their app store sales, even as they wait for payments for 30 days or more from the platform owners. It’s a middleman role for London-based Pollen VC, but it’s critical role in modern financial technology.
Pollen VC was started by Martin Macmillan, chief executive; Richard Skaife, director; and Gordon Fitzjohn, chairman. MacMillan calls the original Pollen VC service “velocity capital,” a way to expedite the growth of businesses that rely on digital “receivables.” It’s a lot like a line of credit, secured with a game’s sales.
Pollen VC lets developers unlock yesterday’s sales to fund today’s user acquisition campaigns. Pollen VC uses data from the app store and other sources to figure out how much money is coming in for a given game. It provides a dashboard of data so that developers can easily see how much money they can pour back into user acquisition ad campaigns.
And Pollen VC can funnel that money directly to an advertising network, if the developer wishes. Or Pollen can just turn over cash after taking a fee.
The app stores have delayed payments because they have to deal with issues such as returns. Two years ago, Google actually extended its payment terms for a longer period. So the platform owners actually earn a lot of interest on money during that time.
The fee is 5 percent every seven days, if you decide to draw down cash. Pollen VC can also get paid by the ad networks, via affiliate revenue programs. So if the developer chooses to steer money to an ad network, then it doesn’t have to pay a fee to Pollen VC.
A number of Pollen VC’s existing customers, including Fat Fish Games, an independent games studio based in Brighton, England, have taken part in trial runs of the advice sessions and have already seen significant improvements in their UA performance, return-on-investment and user growth.
David Lane, founder of Fat Fish Games said, in a statement, “Pollen360’s data-driven approach to managing Facebook campaigns allowed us to convert more quality users and effectively spend more of our budget, increasing our install rate by 18 percent, decreasing our cost per install by half, and allowing us to save weeks in manpower.”
He added, “Overall, working with Pollen VC, to both recycle our earned revenues and now optimize our ad campaigns, also demonstrates to our investors that we are thinking end-to end about how to run a serious games app business, generate cash and grow going forward.”
Pollen VC was founded in London in 2014.