The importance of being prepared to grasp every opportunity is a truth that all businesses recognize. For Swedish game company Star Stable, opportunity was spelled USA as America is one of the biggest games markets in the world.
Star Stable is an online horse game where players explore a fictional island on horseback, take part in various competitions and take care of their horses in their own stables. The primary target group comprises girls between the ages of 8 and 14, but the game also has many players above the age of 35. For Star Stable, getting established in the United States represents an opportunity to reach a broader target group and more players.
"We saw a lot of potential for Star Stable in the U.S. market. One of our biggest challenges is reaching critical mass in identified key markets such as the USA and Germany," says Johan Sjöberg, CEO at Star Stable.
So when the great opportunity arrived – a marketing campaign with Disney – Star Stable naturally jumped at the chance. Through its bank, Star Stable was able to apply for EKN's working capital credit guarantee to finance the campaign and the international expansion.
The financing solution with a working capital credit guarantee meant that EKN assumed half of the bank's risk, which increased Star Stable's credit line and ultimately made it easier for the company to get access to capital – something that was essential for supporting Star Stable's aggressive growth agenda and marketing efforts in the United States.
The outcome? An increase in the number of players in the USA linked to the campaign, which ultimately contributed to increased growth and a continued positive trend for the company in the USA.
"Thanks to EKN, we were able to carry out our first marketing campaign in the United States. We were also able to increase sales from SEK 89 million to SEK 132 million within the space of a year. Today we have players in around 180 countries. Sweden accounts for about 14 per cent, but the largest share, approximately one quarter of the players, are in the United States," says Johan Sjöberg.
During the last three years, Star Stable has enjoyed steady growth and continued to grow profitably in 2017 while also making substantial investments in the organization and infrastructure. The target for the future is crystal clear – to remain the leading provider of exciting, social gaming experiences for girls.
"The campaign and our international initiative helped us get started in the United States while also creating confidence in our brand in the American market. Being able to work with EKN is a privilege," says Johan Sjöberg.
Development and sales of a virtual horse game.
Approx SEK 132 million.
United States, Sweden and Germany, among others. Today, the game has registered, paying players in around 180 countries.
Star Stable's bank needed a working capital credit guarantee so that Star Stable would be able to manage cash flows and major investments through a bank overdraft.
A working capital credit guarantee provided Star Stable with an overdraft facility. EKN assumed half the risk.