Junglee Games, the fastest-growing skill-gaming platform, has reached the 25 million users milestone, and is leading charts in the top skill-based games in India.
The company has more than doubled its player base in the last 6 months and has grown from 10 million players last year to more than 25 million players today.
While building games that entertain the masses, Junglee Games goes way beyond being simply another gaming company. Junglee Rummy, the flagship product of Junglee Games, has seen a meteoric rise in its user-base growth across the nation with its innovation, value-driven culture, and the amazing user experience it creates and offers.
Here is a QnA with Ankush Gera, founder and CEO of Junglee games where we explore the changing landscape of skill gaming in the country and how Junglee uses various product-driven strategies to acquire, retain and engage users!
NextBigWhat: What are some of the key metrics on revenue vs. users at Junglee?
From 2013 to 2019, we’ve close to doubled in revenue and player count every year. We started off with a player base of less than 1 million, which has today grown to 25 million users. And our growth trajectory shows that we will reach 40-50 million users by the end of this fiscal year.
This is also reflected in our Annual Gross Gaming Revenue. In the year 2013, our Annual Gross Gaming Revenue was $10 million and today we are at $600 million and growing exponentially.
NextBigWhat: Before Junglee, you were running a consulting services business (Monsoon). How did you shift the gears from a service business to a product business? What were some of the core lessons learned, which other entrepreneurs who are in similar shoes can benefit from?
The consulting business allowed conceptualizing to delivering several hundred products over a decade. We saw the transition from the desktop to the mobile in its early days. Aggressive timelines, exposure to fortune 100 clients like HP where our apps shipped on tens of millions of devices, and being on the cutting edge of marketing, data and product development, alongside managing teams both internally and externally, made the transition relatively easy.
In fact, the catalyst to starting Junglee was having full, end-to-end ownership of products beyond launch and turning products into businesses. There were a lot of lessons learned around always owning our own intellectual property versus licensing and being at the mercy of others, not tolerating people who were skilled but culture misfits, investing in data science early on and the biggest one being diversification.
Everyone knows about the successful exit to Capital One but Monsoon almost went out of business twice because we had a lot of revenue from just 1-2 clients and we weren’t diversified enough. We were very fortunate to have weathered two big storms.
At Junglee, we’re operating different games across different markets to ensure we’re well diversified.
NextBigWhat: How has the skill-gaming ecosystem in India developed as opposed to China and the US? Where do you think are big opportunities?
India presents a massive opportunity. The biggest difference in comparison to China and the US is that while those markets have established ecosystems, the Indian market is still at a very early stage. We have over a billion people, a large chunk of the population using affordable smartphones and data, just getting used to micro transactions and very little forms of entertainment. There are opportunities in skill games, e-sports and eventually freemium as well. Educational games and generally gamified applications also present a big opportunity.
NextBigWhat: How do you focus on user retention? Are there any specific tools or processes you use?
User retention, particularly in the gaming industry, is of the utmost importance, and we take it very seriously. We approach user retention in two ways — one through a cross-channel marketing automation tool where we target users on the basis of their playing patterns like the time spent on the app, platform affinity, etc.
We reward regular users with loyalty points that can be used for playing cash games and redeemed for bonuses. We run big tournaments on a daily basis to ensure that a user can derive some value from Junglee Rummy every time they log in.
The second method is our Customer Success team, which ensures that any issue that a customer faces is resolved within 24 hours. That ensures customer loyalty in the long run.
We also take special care by talking to the user in their preferred language – in fact, our team can speak in all major Indian languages. Besides, the time taken by Junglee to process users’ withdrawal requests is the shortest in the industry.
All of these factors keep our customers happy and lead to great customer retention.
NextBigWhat: How do you predict user behavior for new products/features? How is the product requirement process done, given that gaming is a very dynamic industry?
One of our values is that we obsess over numbers to drive decisions. This is ingrained in our company culture. The data that we have on user behavior, churn rate, how a user moves through an acquisition or retention funnel is then discussed by the various stakeholders, and a requirement is raised for a feature request.
The industry as a whole will move toward behavioral analytics in some time, and we want to get a head start.
Also, as a process, we dive deep into all the issues raised by our Customer Success team, and when we find a pattern in the issues, we roll out a feature to solve the problem. Gaming is driving innovation across all domains, be it engineering or marketing automation or new user on-boarding, but sometimes a feature can come from learning something from another, completely different industry.
It always helps to keep your mind open.