Skillz Blog

Leveraging Data to Power a Developer-Driven Marketplace Platform — A Marketplace Conference Recap

Our CEO and founder, Andrew Paradise, recently delivered a fireside chat at The Marketplace Conference. The event brings together founders, VCs, and subject matter experts to discuss the present and the future of marketplaces and network effects. In this blog, we’ll cover the major themes and topics he discussed with chat moderator and co-founder of Autotech Ventures, Alexei Andreev.

Building a thriving marketplace is a difficult undertaking. In Skillz’ initial developer acquisition strategy, we signed up alpha customers, pitching them on a cool product and co-developing a value-add solution together. In exchange, our alpha customers received a no-cost opportunity to test the platform and receive benefits like joint PR and performance data. For early player acquisition, we ran low-priced test budgets on digital ad networks, monitoring player behavior and tuning the platform’s technology.

Over time, we have built our marketplace and seen an incredible payoff for both players and developers. We have run over 800 million tournaments since inception, with an average of 2 million tournaments run per day. We partner with over 13,000 game developers and have 18 million players competing in Skillz-powered games. In a $135 billion gaming market where mobile is the fastest growing sector, the market opportunity is huge.

In our marketplace, successful developers launch new titles and improve existing tiles over time. Cross-game play drives free organic traffic for games. Our growing in-game social networking features, including chat, friends, and player levels keep players engaged and retained. We utilize our anti-cheat and anti-fraud technology to promote a high integrity experience, and player matching promotes fairness for all skill levels. Having the trust of both the players and developers is critical to building a successful marketplace platform. Therefore, we are focused on instilling a sense of fairness and integrity for players and showing developers the ROI our platform provides.

The key to any marketplace business is to create unique value for all participants that did not previously exist. Once you create the initial unlock of value by connecting your participants in a positive engagement loop, then you want to aggregate the data from them to create new value for the ecosystem. With these key considerations in mind, we have been able to build a thriving and growing marketplace for everyone involved.

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