Innovation and inspiration are needed to keep abreast of the intense and fast changes in the digital industry. In summary, it's what professionals working in the digital age are most looking for, every day.
Lab Cave, a mobile growth company located in Madrid, experienced intense changes that permeated its trajectory since it began its activities in 2013 as a game developer.
“We continue to make a lot of investments in Technology and Data processing in order to understand how the algorithms of the Apple and Google Play stores work. Every so often the stores change and we have to adapt to the new rules; working with millions of pieces data every day allows us to make better decisions to keep growing”, says the CEO and Co-Founder Fernando García. Get to know the details and insights gained over these five years!
Expert in mobile games
Lab Cave, like many companies, started small, the idea of two brothers who wanted to develop games for mobile devices. At the end of 2013, Fernando García and Oscar García (now CEO and CTO, respectively) took the first steps with the help of a loan.
They went through a critical time when they realized that they did not have enough to cover the initial investments. During this time in the “Valley of Despair”, they reinvented their way of working and managed to launch, in the following years, more than 300 games of their own, reaching 200 million organic downloads.
Among the biggest hits, we can highlight the games Robber Race Escape and Burger Clicker. Robber Race Escape is an endless runner in which players can dodge obstacles to move forward at an infinitely.
Lab Cave has achieved four million downloads since the launch, between iOS and Google Play, in November 2014.
The other title, Burger Clicker, has achieved 1.2 million downloads since the launch in October 2015. It is an idle game, where players can expand their office by collecting resources and investing in improvements.
During this phase, Lab Cave realised that even with simple games, it was possible to achieve a good number of downloads, giving visibility and highlights to the Apps, even without investing in any user acquisition campaigns.
The secret? Well, it's not exactly a secret anymore, since that's just the kind of service that Lab Cave currently offers: the app store optimisation (ASO) strategies and the adaptability of the team to work in different niches - a model of work that made possible the success of so many games.
A new business opportunity was unfolding in the eyes of Lab Cave as the results of the games became increasingly clear and concrete. According to a survey released by App Annie, the forecast for mobile app downloads in 2020 is $258 billion and, in 2018, consumer spending on app stores has already surpassed the mark of $100 billion.
There are more than three million apps on Google Play and 1.6 million apps on the Apple Store, according to a survey released by AppFigures.
There was no way to ignore this opportunity, Lab Cave embraced the new challenge and decided to offer all the experience and success the team enjoyed in ASO to other game and apps developers.
“Beginning to work with the largest companies in the industry was a natural evolution. Our experience, technology and results demonstrate the knowledge we can offer to companies in a sector where they may not have such knowledge.”
Fernando García, CEO and Co-Founder
In that same period, more precisely at the end of 2017, another important event happened. Lab Cave was acquired by the Fibonad group, the largest Spanish digital advertising group offering Branding, Performance and Publishing services.
The acquisition brought more support to the company and the backing of a group with a significant presence in the digital marketing landscape. With the acquisition, there was also an intense period of growth at Lab Cave, which today has around 50 employees dedicated to absorbing the growing demand of new clients in search of ASO services.
It was only possible to transition the Lab Cave business model so quickly and efficiently because of its extremely productive workflow. While talking to employees, the need to reconcile one’s personal life with their work life was fundamental and that it was often difficult to concentrate again after returning from the lunch break.
Lab Cave decided to implement an intensive work day all year round and the commitment of the employees to this new schedule worked positively. At eight o'clock everyone is already present and the journey ends at three o'clock.
This model of productivity and high employee engagement was the key factor in the success that Lab Cave achieved, even with international clients.
"An example of adaptation, especially at the beginning of a project, was with the Brazilian company Tapps Games, located in São Paulo. Their time zone varies from 3h to 5h depending on ours, so there were times when we did not match a single minute with their workday.
The solution was that, temporarily, the team involved on our side would leave an hour later than usual and they would enter an hour earlier. These two hours of overlap allowed us to move quickly on issues related to this project", comments the COO, Jesús Martinez.
"I think that focusing on productivity has been one of the keys in our transition from developers to ASO agency. Knowing what to do, with what objective and what time we have for it is one of the aspects that I value most as a Lab’ Cave worker. I feel that my work has a sense and direction, which greatly facilitates our work and daily motivation."
José García Velázquez, Google Play ASO Consultant
Eyes on the future
In the last five years, Lab Cave has undergone intense changes, but they proved necessary to keep growing. Independence and culture were the characteristics that were preserved and, without a doubt, the ability for innovation and adaptation.
Jesús tells us that, in his opinion, much of this success should be attributed to a team that is not only able to react to changes, but to anticipate and predict possible scenarios that may affect the workflow.
Now, to mark another moment of change at Lab Cave (this time, literal), as well as the Fibonad group, they have just moved to a new office!
As of Wednesday, October, 31st, the group's headquarters changed to The Window, one of the most versatile and efficient buildings in Madrid, designed to earn the LEED Gold NC Certification.
Fibonad occupies the third floor of this building designed by the Ortiz and Leon architecture studio and is located in the eastern business district of Madrid. It has 1,600 square meters to accommodate the different jobs and common spaces (kitchen, meeting and conference rooms, leisure space, etcetera).
Although each of the companies that make up the Fibonad group maintains its brand image and its own working methodologies, the new space will facilitate communication and personal relationships between them.
“It has become fundamental in a young and digital workforce like ours where performance of work and technical knowledge is very high, but in which there is still little experience in the most humane part", points out Cristina Ponce, Fibonad's Human Resources manager.
Another peculiarity of the new headquarters is that neither Fibonad CEO, David García Fuentes, nor Fibonad CFO, Antonio Figueroa, will have private offices, instead favoring a better interdepartmental and interpersonal communication and greater transparency.
Teams were also formed to decide what kind of environmental measures could be implemented, including the total disposal of plastic bottles.
According to Fibonad's calculations, in one week the team used 280 plastic bottles, equivalent to almost 15,000 bottles per year and more than 7,000 euros in a highly polluting product.
Now, workers have three sources of filtered water and reusable corporate bottles that, along with a corporate shirt and various stationery, made up the welcome pack they received on the first day of the new offices.
In this way, everyone could feel they are members of a single team (the #oneteam has been a motto in the social networks for this transfer) that, from now on, will divide space in The Window with other companies like the New Bank or accelerators like Utopicus.
"We expect to have new and bigger projects ahead of us and to stick with our identity in the coming years. We count on the best that any company could want: a committed, talented and extremely competent team. It is with all this human capital that we intend to follow in the way we do business and help other companies to achieve the full potential of their applications", says Fernando.
About Lab Cave
Lab Cave is a mobile growth company that has achieved more than 200 million organic downloads with its own titles and provides ASO and Ad Mediation services for mobile Apps and games. Part of Fibonad Group, the largest Spanish digital advertising group offering Branding, Performance and Publishing services