Underworld Football Manager developer Stanga Games has raised $500,000 in funding to expand the team and invest in a new marketing push.
Earlier this year the studio appointed Adam Jaffe as its new CEO, who has extensive experience in the games industry at companies including Matomy Media Group, Playtika, Jam City, Taptica, Social Point and more.
Since then he’s been actively building up the team and taking it from a global setup of part-time devs to a studio of 12 full-time employees.
And now with the backing of a $500,000 funding round led by Taya Ventures, with the investment firm’s Kobi Morenko joining Stanga’s board of directors, Jaffe has plans to turn the studio from a bootstrapped indie house, already experiencing nearly 600% growth in revenue year-over-year, into a serious games business.
Ready for kick-off
“Game revenue was solid but we needed a little bit of a growth engine, basically to hire more people and increase marketing to allow Underworld Football Manager to grow,” Jaffe tells PocketGamer.biz of his task of finding funding for the company.
“It was kind of one of the main reasons I joined, to come in and raise some cash and turn it into a business.
“Because before it was much more of a project; a bunch of people working from their homes and spread out all over the world.”
Stanga Games was already experiencing moderate success with Underworld Football Manager before Jaffe’s arrival. The game tasks players with building their own football empire, but the twist is they must bribe and scheme their way to the top.
As its title suggests, it’s really about finding success through any means necessary, especially if those means are illegal.
A new league
The game is already generating over six figures a month, but the team is currently working on a big update that it hopes will attract a plethora of new players.
Jaffe explains that currently the game’s city acts as a basic backdrop to the title that “doesn’t match the depth of the product that exists”, which could be a turnoff for some users.
But in the new update, the city will be better integrated into how the rest of the game functions. Every building will have 12 upgradable states and as players upgrade them the entire city’s infrastructure will also change to a more modern, cleaner aesthetic.
It’s the launch of this update, with significant improvements to the Underworld Football Manager’s visuals and new features, when Stanga aims to really begin spending much of its new investment on marketing, up to $200,000 per month.
“What we're basically building is a business that can support itself and can grow from that support,” says Jaffe.
“We see being able to achieve profitability next year and this $500,000 gets us way beyond that point. The idea is with the growth of the product, as we continue to improve it, this $500,000 allows us to scale and achieve profitability.
Then we're in a much healthier position if we need to go out and look for more money or if we want to just continue the growth trajectory we've established with the new product feature updates. This is the way forward.”