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Superhot devs raise $3 million to expand home-brew sales tracking platform IndieBI
"Tracking our sales and making smart decisions was quickly becoming a huge challenge and a source of anxiety."
November 17, 2021
4 Min Read
The developers behind Superhot have raised $3 million to propel development on a business intelligence and sales optimisation toolkit called IndieBI.
IndieBI is described as a "suite of business and sales data aggregation and analytics tools" for PC, console, and VR titles, and was built to help creators understand their sales, marketing numbers, and financial outcomes.
IndieBI co-founder and CEO Tom Kaczmarczyk, who is joined at the company by fellow co-founder Callum Underwood (who also established boutique games business agency Robot Teddy), explained the toolkit was created in 2018 as a home-brew tool to help Superhot Team manage their sales.
"With games shipped across a dozen major sales platforms, tracking our sales and making smart decisions was quickly becoming a huge challenge and a source of anxiety. We were starved for anything resembling modern business intelligence and there were exactly zero options available off-the-shelf that’d properly hit the spot for us," says Kaczmarczyk, who also co-founded Superhot Team.
"The insights IndieBI provided for us felt like a breath of fresh air. They quickly translated to very meaningful sales improvements for all of our games. Changes to our discounting strategy and regional pricing alone amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars of increased revenue, more than footing the bill for creating this early version of IndieBI for us."
After refining IndieBI and subsequently sharing it with other studios, Kaczmarczyk says the toolkit has tracked nearly $2 billion in sales across over 1700 titles. It has been used by companies including Innersloth, Vertigo Games, Raw Fury, and Kowloon Nights as part of an invite-only beta, and the plan is to slowly but surely bring other developers and studios into the fold.
Speaking to Game Developer about showcasing IndieBI publicly for the first time and the company's plans for the future, Kaczmarczyk explained the initial batch of funding will be used to build out the platform and transition out of beta without worrying about monetization or aggressive pricing. Notably, there are also plans to grant free access to smaller studios.
"We're intending to keep the platform free for smaller studios forever, but with this raise we also don't need to worry about charging larger studios and publishers or build any enterprise-only features anytime soon," says Kaczmarczyk.
"Once we're done with the transition from invite-only to a more open beta, we'll refocus on building clever new features again. Eventually, we're hoping to also start providing generalized industry-wide benchmarks, and deep-dive knowledge base articles based on the best practices we've seen work in the industry."
In terms of timing, Kaczmarczyk hopes the team will be able to "significantly ramp up" the number of invites it can send out to developers on the IndieBI waiting list early next year, before fully opening up a "few months later."
"The primary goal we have right now is to start ramping up and opening the platform to more developers at some point mid next year," he explains. "Until then, almost all of our effort is going into improving the overall user experience to a level where we could confidently invite ten times our current user base and not buckle under the strain of suddenly having to individually support a thousand new partners on Discord. It's definitely a challenge, but we've got a pretty good line of sight to getting all of that solved over the next few months."
As for what sort of insights and actionable metrics IndieBI will dish out, Kaczmarczyk explained one of the platform's most "universally impactful" features is discount optimization. "IndieBI automatically tracks discount cooldowns across all platforms and reminds users if any of their titles look ripe for another sale. A number of titles on IndieBI doubled their overall revenue just by following those guidelines," he continues.
"For some partners this amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue per year. And with a bit more clicking around you can use IndieBI to drill into the performance of all the sales you've done in the past, puzzle out what discounting level works best for each of your games and on each of your platforms, look for underperforming countries to tweak regional pricing, or play around with your store art and trailers to improve your conversion rates."
Although Kaczmarczyk concedes incremental improvements like those are "a bit harder to execute," he claims they can make all the difference.
"We've seen games tripling their revenue in specific regions like Russia or China just with regional pricing tweaks alone," continues the IndieBI chief exec. "Over time, we'll be adding systems to recommend more and more opportunities like these automatically -- making them approachable even for smaller studios who don't necessarily have the time or experience to click around and analyze their data themselves."
You can visit the IndieBI website to learn more about the platform and sign up for the waiting list.
About the Author(s)
News Editor, GameDeveloper.com
Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.
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