Accelerating mobile gaming growth in Africa

Carry1st customer success OG


Carry1st is Africa’s leading games publisher. The team has a wealth of expertise in the mobile gaming industry, particularly in the complex African market. 

It’s that specialism and ability to scale games across the region that gave Tilting Point (in partnership with Nickelodeon) the confidence to trust Carry1st with one of their most iconic characters – SpongeBob Squarepants. 

Tedj Tibourtine, Carry1st’s Senior User Acquisition & Ad Monetisation Manager, had the task of introducing Africa to SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off


For Tedj, success for Krusty Cook-Off is measured by two key things. 

Firstly it’s about growing the game’s user base at scale while maintaining a healthy ROI. That means optimizing a broad range of paid channels to reach their acquisition goals. And, secondly, it’s about continuously improving the monetization of these users. 

These tasks are made more challenging as many of the tried and tested user acquisition and monetization strategies that are prevalent in most regions – aren’t as effective in Africa. 

For a start, many of the Ad Networks aren’t yet focused on targeting the African market. That means that for Carry1st, they sometimes lacked the required volume of ad inventory to help them scale up quickly. 

Carry1st also faced another very specific challenge. While SpongeBob is a household name in Europe and North America, the character wasn’t as well known in some African countries. As a result – organic uplift was inconsistent.


With AppsFlyer’s extensive list of partners focused on the African market, Carry1st was able to identify and quickly onboard new partners which helped them scale their acquisition efforts more efficiently.

Carry1st uses Xpend’s API integration coupled with the Cost ETL to combine their cost and revenue data and get clarity on their true ROI. Having an accurate ROI that they trust allows them to make better optimization decisions. This is all the more important given the limited inventory options available in the African market.

Since soft-launching SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off in June 2021, they’ve managed to smoothly onboard over 10 networks and get their business-critical KPI’s populated in their AppsFlyer dashboards.

“Having AppsFlyer’s Cohorted Ad Revenue data at a user level helps us optimize our user acquisition campaigns for ad monetized games. Thanks to the cohorted dashboard, we can establish the profitability of our networks on a country, campaign, ad, and even sub-publisher level. This gives us the clarity we need to better optimize our games for a positive ROI.”

Tedj Tibourtine, Senior User Acquisition & Ad Monetisation Manager, Carry1st

To counter the inconsistent organic performance, Carry1st decided to leverage influencer marketing. To support that strategy they used OneLink, AppsFlyer’s customer experience and deep-linking solution, which helped them measure the performance of each individual influencer and scale their influencer marketing campaigns. 

OneLink also enabled Carry1st to provide a smoother, more contextual experience, deep linking new users to the right in-game page after they installed the app. 


Since officially launching in Africa in October 2021, SpongeBob Krusty Cook-Off has managed to acquire more than 2 million users, ranking in the Top 5 most downloaded games across Africa.  

Xpend helped Carry1st manage this rapid growth, allowing them to onboard UA partners while maintaining control of their budgets. 

By using Xpend, Carry1st has won back approximately 32 hours per month because the process of collecting and compiling their cost and revenue data is no longer manual. Combining this data gives Carry1st the ability to see their true ROI, which allows them to make more informed decisions on where to spend their budget.

“Having access to user level revenue data helps us better understand the impact of our UA optimization on the quality of users we are bringing to the game. It provides insight into their level of engagement within our game, their ARPU, and ultimately ROAS.”

Tedj Tibourtine, Senior User Acquisition & Ad Monetisation Manager, Carry1st
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