4 min read
Apr 20, 2023
Introducing Sanlo Financial OS
Olya Caliujnaia & William Liu
For the past 15 years, we have been surrounded by friends working in the gaming industry as builders, founders, advisors, investors, or a combination of those roles. We have seen firsthand, both personally and through our community, that building a game, managing live operations, and expanding to build additional titles is both exhilarating and complex.
Playing games is fun, but building games can be just as enjoyable, or at least it should be. That's why we started Sanlo - out of admiration for game builders and with the desire to create a product that helps them focus on game development and achieve greater success.
With the constantly changing gaming industry - with tectonic shifts in user acquisition tactics, more pressure for deeper engaging gameplay, the emergence of web3 technology, economic impacts on funding talent landscapes, growing regulatory pressures on Apple and Google, to name just a few - founders and leaders want and need to stay on top of their finances to confidently control their destiny. There is less room for errors, but those who can magically combine creativity with discipline are the ones who will win.
What is Sanlo Financial OS?
After speaking with hundreds of founders in gaming and app, we’ve embarked on a journey to build a platform of financial products specifically designed for the gaming and app business. We exist because we want to provide a comprehensive solution for financial management in the gaming industry - a financial operating system, a platform where any gaming or app company can run their business with confidence.
We started by addressing pain points consistently heard from the gaming community, and we’ve been continually iterating on our roadmap while working closely with our customers - just as the gaming industry has taught us to incorporate player feedback into game design. Here is what we heard:
By nature, gaming businesses have multiple streams of revenue and expenses that are often tracked in fragmented sources, making it difficult to monitor them all in one place in real-time.
Financial and product metrics are disconnected, even though the latter has a direct impact on the former.
Cash is important, and today cash flow is king.
Money is tight and access to it is even tougher.
Financial and product forecasting is a highly manual and error-prone process, leading to game-level forecasting being disconnected from the larger financial state of the company. Additionally, both financial and product forecasting are time-consuming and rely heavily on G-Sheet/Excel continuous maintenance.
We are excited to share our roadmap with the wider community and make it open and transparent, so the voice of game and app builders drives the development of our product to benefit the entire ecosystem. Here is our high-level roadmap, with some functionality in the soft launch phase. We'll be sharing more details on each product:
The Present: Financial Intelligence
This is the foundation to bring full visibility into the state of the company and its products today. We are building one place where our customers can see both financial and product-level data and metrics in one place, by simply connecting banking data, game metrics, and platforms. The data always comes from sources of truth, giving an accurate holistic picture of the business at both the company and product levels.
Control: Cash flow optimization
Each platform (Apple, Google, Steam, ad networks, etc.) pays at different times, while paying vendors and covering operating expenses (payroll, cloud services, etc) has its own schedule. The first step is visibility into when cash is coming in and going out. The next step is a solution to optimize the flow of cash in and out, in a way that removes the risk of not having enough cash on hand and deploys available cash to provide additional leverage, be it from investment in user acquisition, launching titles (or delaying launches), wider treasury management, or other.
The Future: Planning and forecasting for games and company
By having product metrics side by side with the financials of a company, we show which levers are affecting not just the trajectory of one game but of the company overall, and what changing any of them means for the future. Think scenario planning on steroids - built on accurate historical data, it shows the most critical levers and provides the ability to manipulate assumptions to provide clarity on the areas that have the most impact and increase accuracy of projections. All of that makes decision-making around current and future game development and scaling more informed, so that both talent and money can be focused on the ideas and products with the best prospects.
The Capital: Financing to grow
While this was our first product that we launched and had the privilege of working with multiple studios already, we are constantly iterating on the design of our financing to fit what developers need most now. We've introduced a line of credit to provide predictability and security that funding is available that developers have been seeking recently. We are also working to allow developers to receive revenues they earned from the platform already, rather than waiting for 15-60 days to get paid because cash flow is more critical now than ever.
Sanlo Club: Community & support
We want to create a place where no game or app founder or leader feels isolated. Sanlo Club brings people together - independent game studios, publishers, investors, and platforms. We ourselves have been fortunate to have been surrounded by incredibly smart and supportive people as we’ve been building ourselves, and think it makes a ton of difference to increase odds of success.
Let's make the gaming community even stronger together, so we not only persevere but also flourish.💪
🚀 It's an ambitious roadmap, and we are energized by the feedback we've received so far and the support from our existing customers. If you are interested in learning more or want to be part of our early access, please get in touch - we'd love to hear from you. Ping us at firstname.lastname@example.org! 🚀