Belarusian startup Skich came out on Product Hunt with an application for quick search of interesting games on your smartphone. Skich will guide you through the games based on your preferences, interests and feedback from your friends.
The startup’s CEO is 69pixels Studio Development Director Sergey Budkovsky. He told us about application development and plans to monetize it. And about the forced relocation to Poland due to the political crisis.
– The idea of a mobile application for fast search of games belongs to me and Ivan Zenkovich – a colleague at the studio 69pixels, where we work. There are already hundreds of thousands of games in the App Store and Play Market. According to the statistics of newzoo.com, there are 2.6 billion people playing mobile games in the world. And the only problem with mobile gamers is to quickly find a new one. With such a rapid development of gamemade and abundance of games it is quite difficult.
The development of the application began in the spring. There are 4 people working on the project. Everyone has the main work, but everyone gives the project free time. According to the CEO, this is enough to “make a great product”.
– We run the project with our own funds without early investments. We planned to release it in the middle of August. But no one expected how events would unfold in Belarus. In the end we launched Skich only now.
So far, the application has appeared in the App Store. Even in the process of product development communicated with well-known Belarusian startupers. Everyone liked the idea. Contacted the global accelerator 500 startups. They are waiting for our metrics, probably, we will participate in the acceleration program. We are interested in smart money and will be glad to talk to those who know how to help the project.
The user downloads the application, with its help selects the genres of games that he likes most. The program offers the user a game card in the form of screenshots from the App Store and Google Play. The cards contain detailed visual information about each game. According to Sergey, “in this way the user is more quickly immersed in the game than when he sees the icon and the name”.
If the user wanted to play, he can see more detailed information about the game and get a link to the App Store for quick download.
Games that you would like to download, but play later, you can add to the wishlist. You can also add paid games that the user wants, for example, to wait for discounts. In the section will be saved the games in which the user has already played. Here you can also leave your feedback on the game.
In Skich there is a section “Subscriptions and Subscribers” with the search system by games and people. You can subscribe to other users of the application, search and invite friends.
All information about the user’s activity is stored in the activity section.
– Skich will prompt the user of the game based on their preferences, interests and feedback from friends. If none of the proposed options did not like, the user will be able to quickly enter the activity and learn what games have added friends to their playlist, what they played and what feedback they left.
This is an important option that speeds up the process of finding the game. In addition, the application will help to promote paid games.
Now only 38% of mobile gamers are ready to pay for games. But often in the paid segment there is the most interesting thing. We suppose, with the help of Skich the percentage of paying gamers can be increased.
Also we are going to develop partnership relations with the gamemaker to provide users with unique content. For example, some developer plans to launch an interesting game. And he wants to collect a certain number of users who would add it to the Vishlist and find out about the game when it comes out.
Skich will work on the freemium model (free application with additional paid features), so some content will be paid for the user. What is this content, while the commercial secret. The paid version will appear next year.
“One of the first to take advantage of the Poland-relocated program. Business Harbour”
Sergey Budkovsky met the launch of Skich in Warsaw. According to him, after the presidential elections, due to the difficult situation in the country and predicted problems with attracting investments, he decided to explore options for possible deployment and feel the ground for the startup in Poland.
– We talked to the studio founders and decided to open an office there. In case the blocking of the Internet continues, repressions against companies and people, or if problems with customers start. Fortunately, our foreign clients were sympathetic to what is happening in Belarus. No one has turned down our services for fear that we may fail to meet our obligations. Everyone supported us. Nevertheless, I went to Poland.
In Warsaw, Sergey Budkovsky talked to IT specialists, collected information about which cities it was better to live in, with whom to make contacts. And there I also learned about the start of Poland. Business Harbour – Polish program for Belarusian startups and IT-companies. Filled out a questionnaire, after some time he was contacted from StartUp Hub Poland and an appointment was made. There he got acquainted with the hub CEO Matsek Sadowski.
– As a result, Skich was one of the first startups to take advantage of Poland. Business Harbour. The main help for us was in obtaining a yearly visa for the whole team.
But so far from the team I am alone in Warsaw. It is planned that in December the other guys from Skich will move here. I want to secure the team and the project.
The support program is actually much wider than the visa application, but it selects startups based on the interests of Poland. For example, I know that there are preferences for agrarian startups. The gameplay is not about the development of the country. Nevertheless, we were also helped with the Relocation.
“We might even stay here”
– Moving to Poland was a forced measure, so he left quickly and was afraid that it would be difficult. But everything turned out to be much simpler. Probably, because I have many friends in Warsaw.
Poland has a developed service sector, so everything is easy to do on the Internet. While going to Poland, I connected the eSIM Flech service of the Polish mobile operator Orange (you can quickly transfer your mobile number or create a new one). And already at the Polish border, I had a Polish number. I left it to the border guards so they could check my compliance with the ten-day quarantine. This, by the way, will have to be done by everyone who is going to move to Poland.
Communication services cost me 30 PLN per month, which is about 8 USD. This price includes, in particular, a limit on all social networks, a limit on video or audio resources, plus 30 GB of free Internet.
I moved to Warsaw with my girlfriend. Now we rent a studio apartment in the city center. There are enough offers to rent apartments (looked for on the sites otodom.pl, olx.pl), so we quickly found the option that suited us. Rent of studio apartments here costs 500-600 dollars a month. Two-room apartments are a little more expensive. For a similar price, by the way, you can rent an apartment far from the city. In Krakow, Poznan, Wroclaw rent is cheaper – 350-400 dollars a month.
In Poland, e-commerce is well developed, two heads higher than in Belarus. You can order and pay for various goods and services remotely. During the ten-day quarantine, products were brought to us within half an hour.
Used cars, clothes and food are mostly cheaper here than in Belarus. At least, I made this conclusion. If you take the average check, in Warsaw what I can buy for $35, in Minsk it will cost me about $50. Uber is slightly more expensive than in Minsk, public transport is more expensive.
Mandatory pay are health insurance. It cost me 100 dollars for one year.
By the way, I went to Poland through Ukraine. And there were difficulties with transporting my dog. It turned out that in Ukraine there is a large percentage of dog rabies cases. Even if you go through Ukraine to Poland, you have to get additional vaccinations and wait for three months to get the necessary tests. And only then you will be allowed to go to Poland. Therefore, from Ukraine the dog had to be returned to Minsk and from there already go directly to Warsaw. This option turned out to be easier.
In general, if not for the second wave of COVID-19, I could say that the move to Poland was quite easy. But now almost every week, new restrictions are introduced. Recently, all stores in shopping centers have been closed. Now I can walk the streets, but I can’t say how long it will last.
It is hard to say how long I moved to Poland. Just in case I am already thinking about a residence permit.