The Berlin-based Glück Games will be on home territory when it gets to present to the online gambling industry gathered at EiG next week. Here GamCrowd talks to founder Robert Lenzhofer about his hopes for his games development company and what he thinks the company can gain from presenting at the show.
GamCrowd: Can you go into detail about Glück Games' product offering?
Robert Lenzhofer: We offer what we call casual real-money games. We see ourselves as a games company and also as a conversion company for lottery players into casino-players. That means lotteries can convert players into higher-RTP games and casinos can acquire lottery-customers at a much lower CPA than they are used to and eventually convert them into long-term casino-customers. We offer scratchcards, bingo games, Keno games, instant-win games, skill/luck-based games and more. All of these games sit in between the category lottery and the category casino. Lottery appeals to 50-80% of adult population and casino appeals to 1-5% of adult population and we are attacking the entire segment in between.
GamCrowd: How did the formation of the company come about? What experience of the gaming industry do the founders have?
Robert Lenzhofer: I've been working in the real-money gaming industry since the IPO of bwin in 2000 and have worked in all product verticals of the industry. I always worked in product positions and I’m all about building products. I'm a co-founder of Glück Games and the chief executive of the company, but see myself at the core as a ‘product guy’. Arvind, co-founder and chief operating officer, has been in social casino and real-money casino for a few years now and is a great entrepreneur who has built successful companies before Glück Games. From my experience I always wanted to set-up a great B2B company in the space, but was very aware of the time it takes until you have a platform, until you have the games, and until you have your initial customers. So, we said early on that we understand the industry and a quick formation and rapid growth can only come from a very deep cooperation from day one with the right B2C partner. We have chosen Lottoland as it is the perfect launch-pad for us as it provides us access to over one million real money customers and all of them in the lottery space. We have seen companies struggle and ultimately fail because they’ve set-up the company, raised funds, built the games, and then focused on distribution to - for instance - the North American lotteries as their first target as presumably this is where the money is. The product only gets you so far in this industry - you really have to know which paths take you to revenue the soonest which provide stability to the start-up. In about one year we’ve built a baseline product-offering, had revenue from month one, are cash-flow positive from month one, and are building the company in a style that some people would call boring: we make new products only when we can fund them out of revenue-share of previous products. We find it exciting that we basically just started with a small loan which is virtually untouched and are growing purely out of cash-flow.
GamCrowd: You clearly have a few partnerships lined with names such as Lottoland and Gamevy - what do these type of partnerships bring you?
Robert Lenzhofer: In real-money gaming, your first five partnerships define the company for its entire life. It cannot be understated how important your vision is, but at the same time you are serving products to a client. So, if the client wants something, you have to deliver. The key here is to want the same thing as your client by choosing your first clients correctly. Gamevy is actually more than a partner - Glück Games was the first investor into Gamevy. We were growing so well in the first months and then we stumbled upon Gamevy and we loved their products and the team and decided to invest. Their games fit into the category of game-show games which is another piece of the puzzle of games in between lottery and casino.
GamCrowd: I see you have a games development studio in Berlin - how important is it, do you think, to have an office in a creative him such as this?
Robert Lenzhofer: It’s key. And we also love to prove people wrong. Many have said to us ‘why have you set-up a real-money gaming studio in Berlin? There are no other real-money gaming companies there’. You get the idea why that statement is flawed. We love Berlin and we are just so lucky to be here. Just a vanity KPI to illustrate: we are a small and basically unknown company, but we received about 1,000 applications through our own recruitment efforts into the company in the last 10 months alone.
GamCrowd: What are your hopes for the EiG show?
Robert Lenzhofer: Our hopes are of course that our products are well received and that our vision is shared by many operators. This will be our first time our company will be in the public spotlight, so it is a very big deal for us.