60% of mobile devs are completely self-funded

Funding challenge survey reveals only a third of mobile devs apply for government grants
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Very few mobile startups appear to be taking full advantage of the funding opportunities on offer to them – although the majority have managed to successfully go it alone.

That’s one of the takeaways of a new report into developer funding run by Pollen VC.

The survey of approximately 200 devs found that only around a third (35 per cent) had applied for government grants, with almost half of that figure – 18 per cent – similarly trying to secure tax credits, such as the UK’s Video Games Tax Relief.

Around half of those who have applied for tax relief were from the UK, with 100 per cent of Finnish studios opting for government schemes through Tekes.

Four-fifths of mobile indies said they were either partly self-funded or completely bootstrapped, with 60 per cent of all those spoken to saying they were completely bootstrapped, avoiding the need for external investment.

The majority of studios (58 per cent) said that they would attempt to attract venture capital backing, with marginally fewer devs (56 per cent) seeking help from angels or family and friends.

Just under a fifth (17 per cent) of those turning to VC cash are young startups, having opened fewer than two years ago. Meanwhile, angels or family and friends are the preferred choices of three in 10 businesses of the same age.

Just 15 per cent of those surveyed said they would boost their capital through non-dilutive sources, such as loans or contract work.

Nearly nine in ten (87 per cent) mobile devs said they would seek funding in the coming year, with three-quarters looking for equity finance from venture firms, angels or family and friends.

More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of all the studios would look to put the cash into a new game launch, with 44 per cent opting to update existing titles. Over half (55 per cent) are looking to support marketing and user acquisition campaigns. A third would invest in contractors.

Acquiring credit is a continuing challenge for devs. 13 per cent of respondants say they have struggled to secure credit from any source, with that figure rising to nearly a quarter (23 per cent) for studios under two years old.

Read the full results of the survey on Pollen’s website.

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