Sanlo launches into web shops after raising $13.5 million

Financial services provider inviting games companies to join close beta of its new platform

Sanlo launches into web shops after raising $13.5 million

Financial and monetisation services provider Sanlo has launched into the web shop space, becoming the latest company to join the off-store payments trend.

An increasing number of publishers are opening web shops as they seek to generate a greater share of revenue from purchases outside of the App Store and Google Play.

While platform holders take a 30% share of revenue - outside of the App Store’s alternative business terms in the European Union - web shops offer much lower fees.

Founded in 2020, Sanlo provides a suite of tools to track revenue and payments. It also provides financing to companies, without taking an equity share.

It’s now launched a closed beta program for its web shop platform and is inviting a select group of games companies to use it.

Sanlo described its new platform as a “plug-and-play” direct-to-consumer service to build a web shop and track revenue. Sanlo will also act as the merchant of record to handle payments.

UK developer Fusebox Games, developer of titles such as Love Island: The Game, is one of its first closed beta customers.

Key investors

Sanlo has raised $13.5 million to date for its platform. Investors include Konvoy Ventures, London Venture Partners, Index Ventures, GFR, XYZ Venture Capital and Fin Capital.

The company is headed up by co-founders CEO Olya Caliujnaia and CTO William Liu, both alumni from social games company Playfish, which was acquired by EA.

Speaking to, Caliujnaia said the initial idea for Sanlo at its founding was to create tools for small to medium-sized businesses to help run their finances. The company then set out building a stack of financial and business operations tools for the games industry.

“I guess the altruistic mission was bringing services that traditionally would be very complicated, very nuanced, to the folks that generally actually don't have time to figure all of this out,” she said.

Web shop opportunity

Caliujnaia said the expansion into web shops is an extension of the services it already offers and helps publishers target players across different geographies and personas.

The push to web shops is also being spurred on by increasing global scrutiny of potential app store and payment monopolies in the mobile space.

The Digital Markets Act in the European Union, in particular, has cracked down on the likes of Apple over opening up to third-party stores and alternative payments. This has created further opportunities for web shops, which Sanlo hopes to tap into.

Sanlo believes that over the next 18 months, publishers could collectively be generating billions more in revenue through web shops.

It claims companies could capture as much as 25% of sales through these stores over that period, representing a potential $27 billion opportunity, based on the estimates that mobile game in-app purchases generated $107 billion in 2023.

"Playtika, has obviously has been leading the charge there, and then you look at their quarterly earnings, and the percentage of direct-to-consumer has been consistently growing,” said Caliujnaia.

Head of Content

Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.