kooma∙looma at Gamescom 2016

We are just back from Cologne, and after one day of relax we are here to share the experience  of kooma∙looma at Gamescom 2016.

What is Gamescom

Gamescom is the biggest game trade fair in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of gamers from all over Europe gather in the Köln Messe to interact with their favourite games, to preview the newest releases and have lots of fun with fellow gamers.



The Gamescom also hosts a business sector, where the Game Industry (Game Developers, Publishers, Distributors etc.) and companies servicing the Game Industry (such as Payment Providers, Advertising Agencies and Networks) meet to introduce new products and develop or strengthen business relations.

Some Numbers of Gamescom 2016

  • Number of visitors: 345.000
  • of trade visitors: 30,500
  • Internationality of visitors: 97 countries
  • Exhibiting companies*: 877 (including 272 exhibitors and 11 additionally represented companies from Germany and 589 exhibitors and 5 additionally represented companies from abroad)
  • 2016: 68 percent share of foreign exhibitors from 53 countries
  • Exhibition space: 2016: 193,000 m²


Why  kooma∙looma at Gamescom

Following the great results we achieved with our AB Test on Turkish Gamers paying through mobile payments, Gamescom was the perfect opportunity to make the debut of  kooma∙looma for Games companies in general.


We decided we would exhibit at Gamescom in April 2016. Preparation involved 3 Groups of activities:

  • Administration / Logistics: Application, selecting a good stand location, stand construction and of course accommodation;
  • Marketing: Stand design and decoration, BTL, demos and PR;
  • Business: scheduling the meetings, preparing ad-hoc pitches and presentations.

Design for the event

Our Stand and all the BTL materials were designed by a professional freelance designer with years of experience in agencies in London and New York. You can find more about her here: ngranati.myportfolio.com

Since this is our debut, and most of the companies had never even heard about us, we wanted to stand out from the crowd, yet maintain our corporate identity. We also wanted to use the stand to deliver strong messages and claims that could attract interest and position us for what we do.

Our Stand

The booth design of course was a very important topic. In may the first design concepts for our booth were developed:


By the end of June we had nailed it down to two design concepts.


We were quite undecided because we really liked both. In our opinion the concept on the right delivered a stronger visual impact, while the concept on the left was closer to our brand identity. So at the end we went for the one on the left since this was our debut in the Games Industry and we wanted to be as close as possible to our original brand colours and design.

On the 15th of August Koln Messe delivered us our stand.


And on the morning of the 16th the decoration works began.


Our stand was finally ready, and the show was ready to begin with kooma·looma at Gamescom 2016.


The Event

The first 2 days we were packed with business meetings all day, a meeting every 30 mins in our booth, from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm, which left us very little time to visit the rest of the show.


And between meetings we introduced our loyalty programme to visitors and answered their questions.



Some old friends passed by our stand to say hello.


But on the last day we found a moment to visit the rest of the trade sector and to visit a couple of halls of the consumer sector.

The show ended Friday around 4:00 pm. At least for us in the business sector. And Friday evening, very tired, but happy and satisfied we headed back home.


So we want to thank everyone that made this event such a big success for us. Special thanks go to:

  • The kooma team that attended the event and those that helped behind the scenes;
  • The designer of our stand and all our materials;
  • Our current and potential business partners that made the meetings so interesting and provided us with useful feedback;
  • Our ex-colleagues and our friends in the Industry we know since many years, that supported us by opening up relations and providing us feedback and ideas;
  • David, Franco, Marina, Nikola and all Kölnmesse team: that despite the incredibly big event in some way managed to make sure we, as exhibitors, get the support even for last minute needs or issues.

This was a very special event for us and we will continue to do our best to “Loyalize Users”. You can visit business.koomalooma.com to know more about our solution.


kooma·looma exhibits at Gamescom 2016 in August

kooma·looma exhibits at Gamescom 2016 in August. With a dedicated booth at this year’s event in Cologne, We will introduce our loyalty platform for the games industry and present the results of research conducted on Turkish gamers.

Gamescom, Europe’s epicentre for games and gamers, is a very important event for us because it gives us a chance to present kooma·looma to potential partners in the games industry from all over the world, and to do this face to face. We’ll be organizing meetings during the three trade visitor days to show different aspects and features of our product. We will demo the end user experience of collecting points and spending them to receive great prizes on kooma·looma catalogue. We will show our famous Retroclaim feature. We will also present the detailed results of our AB Test conducted on Turkish gamers.

koomalooma at gamescom

If you’re attending Gamescom too and are interested in finding out how we can help mobile and web game companies increase sales and profits through loyalty then let’s meet at our booth in hall 2.1 (You can’t miss us, we have very bright colours!).
Both kooma·looma founders, Massimiliano Silenzi (CEO) and Simonluca Landi (CTO), will be attending the event together with the business and media team.

How to arrange a meeting:

Click here to leave a message to the kooma·looma business team. We will get back to you to schedule your meeting slot.

How to find us:

We are in Hall 2.1, first floor, Booth C 26.


Here’s all you need to know about the event:

When: 17 – 19 August 2016

Where: Hall 2.1, Booth D26, Koelnmesse GmbH, Messeplatz 1, 50679 Köln, Deutschland

About Gamescom: It’s Europe’s biggest trade fair for interactive games and entertainment. The European games trade and consumer show keeps on growing every year. In 2015 Gamescom registered 345,000 visitors from 96 countries, including 33,200 trade visitors. Last year the fair confirmed its position as the industry’s European platform: with 806 companies from 45 countries presenting hundreds of novelties to trade visitors and gaming fans from all over the world on an expanded exhibition surface spanning 193,000 square metres.

Gamescom website: http://www.gamescom-cologne.com/

1 year of kooma∙looma

On May 19th we celebrated 1 year of kooma∙looma. This is a brief recap, from idea to reality, of what we have achieved during the first year of existence.

  • Team: We have put together a great team. Francesca is our latest new entry, joining us last week as Business Operations and Control Director, with 5 years of experience in a similar directorship role in digital payments.
  • Technology and Platform: We developed the first version of our loyalty platform during the first 6 months allowing us to go live in November 2015, this included the core engine to track the loyalty points, the end user catalog website for signing up to the program and redeeming prizes, the APIs and Javascript widgets for the integration, our unique Retroclaim feature for collecting points before signing up to the program. During the next 6 months we released new versions and features, including the backend administration and stats panel for the merchants and API integration for automatic redeem of digital rewards such as Mobile Carrier top ups.
  • Product and User Experience: Since the launch we have continuously worked on improving our product and the user experience, also based on user data and feedback. Some of the main improvements include: a general improvement to the layout and copy of the Sign up pages, an automatic tutorial for first time users, improved rewards catalogue and redeem flows.
    Business: We went live in Turkey with Onebip with a small test in November 2015, and then extended to many more users and to the Swiss market in February 2016. Thanks to Onebip, gamers are collecting kooma points when making purchases on premium online games publishers.

Above all, our main goal to be achieved within 1 year of kooma∙looma was to have a positive test to use as case study for further business development. We wanted to demonstrate that by issuing loyalty points, users actually did spend more. As of last February we are performing a very rigorous AB Test on 2 clusters of 5.000 users, only one of which is actually exposed to kooma∙looma of course. After 4 months we can disclose that the total increase on end user spending generated by the points, is currently 3.5 times the cost of the loyalty program. Now we have evidence that mobile and web companies using kooma∙looma will have a positive return on their marketing investment because users collecting kooma points, churn less and spend more.

A reminder of where you can find more info about kooma∙looma:


Happy Birthday koomalooma

kooma·looma increases sales and user loyalty

We are happy to announce that our company has moved one important step forward. Milestone 2 has been reached: kooma·looma increases sales and user loyalty for mobile and web companies.

Many start-ups begin with what their founders consider a brilliant idea or disruptive business concept. However, new businesses models, new products and services are always characterized by a certain uncertainty. The factors that determine the success or failure of the entrepreneurial initiative are many, both internal and external and with different degrees of impact with respect to the development stage of the start-up itself.

According to a CB Insights report, “No Market Need” is ranked as the #1 reason as to why start-ups fail, and accounts for 42% of all start-up initiative failures. This means that almost half of the start-ups have not succeeded because they have either misjudged the real needs of its target customers, or have been incapable of developing a product capable of solving the proposed need or have overestimated the market size.

In order to double our chances of success, we decided from the beginning we would as a first step develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and then focus on testing it in the market before committing larger investments.

kooma·looma is an open coalition loyalty platform and program that helps mobile and web companies increase sales and customer loyalty. There is no need to question the size of the market (Mobile and Web Commerce). We also have no doubts that the targeted customers’ top need is to increase sales and loyalty. Our main concern instead was to make sure our product was capable of resolving the problem for our customer. Therefore after developing the MVP our second milestone was to validate the value proposition: “kooma·looma increases sales and user loyalty”

The AB Test

We launched kooma·looma through our first partner in Q4 2015 by allowing end users (initially in Turkey, then in Switzerland) to earn points for purchases made via mobile on some of the top global game publishers. Before the launch, we had previously created different homogeneous subsets of users, clustered by different aspects such as monthly spending amount, products purchased, mobile operator, and other.

We performed extensive AB tests to study the behaviour of the users. More specifically some subsets of users were allowed to collect points, while the other subsets were not aware of the kooma·looma loyalty system implemented by the provider.

kooma·looma increases sales

Our data is still confidential but we can already share that we have observed double digit spending increases, together with increased loyalty rates for the subsets of users that participated in the programme. Users that collected “kooma points” for their purchases spent more, and returned more than those who didn’t. We now have proof that koomalooma increases sales and loyalty and this is for us our first great success.

We will continue to track data and improve our knowledge as to the degree of sales increase, profitability, end user loyalty and engagement. This will be done also in relation to variables such as the program funding rate by the merchant, the product categories and the geographic market.

Next Steps

Now that Milestone 2 is achieved it is time to move on to the next phase. In the next months we will focus on structuring the business and on the commercialization of our programme. More specifically we will work on the team, the go-to-market, and the general development and operations. If you are interested in understanding what kooma·looma can do for your business please check our kooma·looma for business site and get in touch with us.

How we came up with the Retroclaim feature

The Problem

The story we like to tell about how we came up with the “Retroclaim” feature goes like this: My partner and I were trying out a restaurant chain close to our office. While we were having lunch the waiter asks us if we were interested in participating in their loyalty program that would give us the possibility to earn some free meals. We said we were interested, so the waiter pulled out a long paper application form for us to fill out in order for us to enroll to the program. That was a major set-back, we actually liked the place and could foresee going back, but we were really not motivated in taking time to fill out forms and giving our personal information before even getting close to redeeming the rewards. That is when we came up with the idea that our mobile and online loyalty system had to overcome that same barrier that so strongly discouraged us from signing up to the program.

The fact is that in the physical world, the solution to our problem at the restaurant has been around since a few decades. Many supermarkets for example allow customers to collect loyalty stamps for every “x” amount of purchases. Then when the customer has enough stamps to redeem a prize (for example the toaster), the customer fills out the registration form, supplies the personal data and receives the gift.

Our Solution

kooma·looma was built from the very beginning on this second paradigm. It is the first loyalty program that allows mobile and online users to collect points even before signing up to the program. The user experience is the following: the online shopper will see how many points will be earned if a purchase is made on our partners app, mobile or web site. Once the purchase is completed, the points are issued to the user. If the user is a registered member these points are added into the member’s account. If instead the user hasn’t signed up to the program yet, we keep track of the points issued in an anonymous account. The “anonymous” user can at any moment (for example after the purchase or when the user wants to redeem a reward) sign up to the program and claim back the points. We called this feature Retroclaim to express the concept of retroactive claiming of points previously collected.

My partner and I have worked in the M-commerce and online payments industry for ten years, and believe that the benefits of building a loyalty program based on this second paradigm could be enormous within the mobile and web commerce ecosystem.  Retroclaim makes our kooma·looma loyalty program unique and disrupts the current digital loyalty market. Of course, as for the physical world, Retroclaim improves the mobile or web shopping experience, and provides a stronger incentive for the user to sign-up to the program with important benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and overall adoption.

The implications on the merchant side are even more interesting. Retroclaim in fact enables the merchant to overcome a dilemma in terms of loyalty program adoption. Those who know the “e” and “m” commerce business, will understand that it is critical to maintain a high purchase conversion rate (that is the rate of how many complete a purchase to the amount of people that started a purchase). So on one side the digital merchant wants to provide incentives to buy with loyalty programs, but on the other side anything distracting the user in the purchase or check out flow can limit or even have negative effects. A user could be motivated to make purchase also thanks to the loyalty program, but then abandon the purchase because before completing the purchase the user has to recover some loyalty card number, voucher, or sign in with some password. Anonymous collection enabled by Retroclaim resolves this issue.

kooma·looma and the special Retroclaim feature put together years of experience in online and mobile payments and the best practices in loyalty marketing to enable an incredibly frictionless purchase experience for the merchant and the strongest spending incentives and loyal behavior for the end user.

If you are interested in adopting or learning more about our program please get in touch with us through our business.koomalooma.com page.





kooma·looma at Web Summit

We are back! After an intense week of follow ups and recaps (we aren’t actually over yet), here are some thoughts on the experience of kooma·looma at Web Summit 2015.

It was first of all a good opportunity to meet first of all fellow “startuppers” like us, to exchange experiences and ideas. This is probably the aspect we value most of the conference. The possibility to breathe “fresh air” in terms of ideas, experiences, learn from other people’s mistakes, observe other exhibitors and see what they do well (or what you should never do 🙂 ).

kooma·looma stand at Web Summit 2015

We came back from Dublin with:

  1. Greater comfort on the commercial interest in our business idea. We could see the change in the expressions of peers, potential partners or investors when we would talk to them. Their face was “are you really talking to me about another loyalty program?” and then after a few seconds it was “oh wow this change of paradigm you propose with kooma·looma and retroclaim is really cool”.  We are receiving follow-up requests for our API documentation and contracts. [If you want to learn more about what kooma·looma can do for your business or get in touch with us please visit business.koomalooma.com]
  2. A new target market for our program. Can’t disclose more at this stage, but this is what makes these kind of events great. We found a clear and identifiable group of companies that really need our product and we are going to make all the necessary adaptations to serve them quite soon.
  3. Some cool ideas on how to improve our marketing and communication.
  4. Great contacts. It isn’t only about the possibility to meet investors (which is important but we think is a bit overrated). It is more about meeting people that are, were or will be in your same situation, with which you can exchange favors, experiences, ideas. You might end up working for them one day, they could become your best business partner or who knows, maybe just cool friends with which you have something in common.
  5. Happiness, motivation and team spirit. Yes, these events break the daily start-up routines and increase our motivation (as if we weren’t motivated enough!!!) . At kooma·looma we are tech and innovation enthusiasts. We just loved walking around in the Machine Summit, checking out the latest drones (I will probably end up buying an Airdog), robots, brain sensor technologies, fitness gadgets, and innovations in e-health. It was also fun to meet the people behind the tools we use in our day to day work, like Trello. Dublin was a great city to stay in, we had great steaks, visited some nice bars with live music and enjoyed spending time together.
  6. A couple of extra pounds of weight :-). The steaks and burgers were actually a bit too good, and so were the beers.

So thanks Paddy, Jack, Patrick, Youssef and Web Summit team and volunteers for making it good for us.


Launching Europe in Beta

Please excuse us for our silence. The past months we didn’t have much to say. “Nothing” was what was left on our weekly to-do lists. Zero were the “cards” that hadn’t gone into our “done” column on our scrum board at the end of our iterations. “Little” was worth sharing publicly while we were preparing our reward catalogs, designing our front ends, closing the requirements for the admin backends, testing our integration into our first partner or reviewing our end user terms.

Today instead we do have something to share and we are quite proud of it. Yes, we are launching Europe in Beta! In less than 6 months since incorporation our team has signed up an important partner (Onebip), designed, developed and released the Beta version of kooma·looma and is now ready to roll out in Europe starting from Switzerland, Turkey and Portugal.

We have selected these markets for different reasons. So first of all we need to take into account the nature of the business of Onebip our first partner, which is a mobile payment processor that has many important merchants, especially in the games industry, including Gameforge, Aeria Games and Good Game Studio. Considering the games market, Switzerland has very high spending users and mobile operators do not have low monthly or daily spending limits on mobile payments. Switzerland will allow us to understand up to what extent our system can impact spending behavior. We selected Turkey because it has a very young population, very tech savvy and also many gamers. We also liked Turkey because it has a very evolved loyalty program market. Turkish people are very aware of the benefits of loyalty programs and are quite keen in participating, so we wanted to test the effects of our program in this type of context. Lastly, the choice of Portugal instead has more to do with the purchase user experience on mobile payments and some optimizations we can make to improve the experience of collecting loyalty points.

So as it will be clear, we are still in Beta mode, our main goal is to learn as much as possible and our selection of first markets to roll out was more for learning purposes rather than strategic or market positioning reasons.


While we fine-tune the last things before going live, we will let our blog readers take the first peak into our product.



Mobile Catalog

koomalooma Mobile


Desktop Catalog

kooma·looma desktop preview



Some corporate development advice for startups

So last week I had a call with a good friend which happens to be one of the world’s most successful M&A advisors in the digital and tech industry. Here is some corporate development advice he gave us:

  1. Make the business really international: If it is a British or Dutch company with 80% of revenues and employees in Italy, it is actually an Italian company. Italian, Portuguese and Spanish companies are more difficult to sell and less attractive (sad but true…). British, Dutch and German companies can attract capitals more easily. An international company that has a potential to grow globally is more interesting and more valuable.
  2. Make Official Audits: Even if it is expensive, start from the first year to make official audits of the company. It will ease any due diligence process, the seller will have less liabilities and the buyer will feel safer.
  3. Choose an International Accounting Standard: Together with being compliant to your local accounting requirements, start from the beginning by applying and complying to an international accounting standard (IAS/IFRS).
  4. Verify the Legal and Fiscal Implications of the Business: Study well the legal and fiscal implications of your system. Many innovative and disruptive startups break consolidated trade rules or government regulations (consider topics like privacy, banking rules, etc.). Investors look at the upside but also the risks. The higher the potential of your business the higher they will value the company, but consider also high risks lower the evaluation. If you think you might be in a grey area of regulation, consider to get a legal opinion signed by a credited legal studio to certify the business is legit and not breaking regulations.
  5. Don’t wait to create your data room: Create it from day 1 and maintain all your official files in a closed and secure virtual data room. You might have an investor or partner around the corner, and if that happens you want to be quick and focus on the negotiation, not on collecting documents. Also, you will show you are tidy and that is very important.

As founders and managers of a startup, we tend to focus so much on getting the business going, that we risk overlooking the details that are really important from investors point of view. The above is valuable advice we will follow, and thought is worth sharing.

kooma·looma selected for Web Summit Alpha Program in Dublin

kooma·looma has been selected out of over 12.000 applications, to participate at the 2015 Web Summit Alpha program for startups.


Web Summit will run for 3 days from the 3rd to 5th of November in Dublin (RDS). It is the meeting place for the most interesting tech companies across all sectors, stages and geographies. It is the “Davos for Geeks”. Over a two-day programme of networking, learning and storytelling, the world’s most cutting-edge startups, the most experienced investors and the most exciting speakers will mingle and connect in Dublin.

We are really excited about this event, for different reasons. First of all it is just the perfect type of event, where we can meet many new potential business partners and investors. Also it is a great place to learn and share experiences with other “startuppers”. The timing is also perfect. kooma·looma platform will be in a quite advanced stage of development, and the first market tests with “beta” testing partners should be already live. This will allow us to show some concrete examples of our service and maybe even some first figures and KPIs related to our business.

Of course if you are attending and want to meet us, please leave us your email address here

Discounts vs. Gifts in loyalty programs for digital buyers

Following up on our previous post regarding the benefits of setting up a loyalty program, here we discuss the correct proposition to make such programs effective within the overall sales and marketing strategy. More specifically, we analyse whether it is better to provide discounts to the most loyal customers or if it is better to provide some other form of benefit such as gifts.

A recent survey by Comscore (April 2015) indicates that digital buyers perceive discounts and gifts as the most valuable benefit for enrolling into a loyalty program. Other items with lower value ranking were Free Shipping, Exclusive Access to Sales, Elevated Status etc.

We will focus on discounts and on gifts since these are ranked as the most valuable to the customer.

comscore loyalty

In the Comscore research, Product Discounts ranked as most valuable between 58% (US) to 65% (Western EU), while Free Product, Gift Certificates or Cashback for Frequent Purchases ranked between 47% (Brazil) to 62% (US). This means we can assume that from a customer perspective the difference between cutting down the price and giving a gift is negligible. But is this true from the company perspective?

We in kooma·looma believe that it is much better for a company to add value to its offer instead of reducing the price.

If the customer perceives the same value, his purchase behaviour will be the same (or at least quite similar) whether he is offered a discount or a gift of equivalent value. And from a company cost perspective the two strategies could be quite equivalent.  However discounts don’t necessarily foster a long term loyalty. They will make the returning customer happy for sure. But what if the same or higher discount is made by your online competitor to acquire a new customer? Especially in a digital ecosystem, where customers can easily compare prices and obtain the best offers, discount strategies that lead to price wars should be avoided. On the other hand, providing customer with points that can in the future be redeemed in the form of gifts has some great advantages:

  1. They add value to what the company is selling (while discounts reduce the sale value and also the perceived value by the customer).
    If the gifts are valuable and are something that the customer really needs or aspires to have, the program can stimulate stronger return behaviours. For example knowing that since I am loyal I get a discount is different compared to knowing that if I return 10 times I will obtain a certain prize.
  2. The cost of the loyalty is actually incurred when the customer demonstrates his loyalty. If a company will give the customer a gift only after 5 purchases have been made or after certain amount has been spent, the company will incur all the cost of the gift only when the loyal behaviour has happened. For the users that have purchased less than the target set (example made only 2 purchases instead of 5) the company will not incur expenses, but still have in place a strategy to incentivize users to return.
  3. Gift based loyalty campaigns let the company set measurable loyalty promotion targets, strategy and monitor results. For example a company may notice their loyal users purchase their products 7 times in one year, and might be interested in stimulating the user to make 10 or more purchases in one year. By giving a prize after 10 purchases a company can actually target a higher average purchase rate.
  4. Gifts can also be an insight into a company’s customer. If there is a variety of prizes, knowing what prizes are valuable for a specific customer enables the company to understand more about its customers’ needs and aspirations.