Korean growth hacking tool 5Rocks comes out of beta, planning global expansion



See the original version of this article, written in Japanese

We have mentioned 5Rocks, a Korean-based growth hacking tool for mobile apps many times before. In August of 2013, the startup raised $2.3 million from Japanese venture capital Global Brain, and it expanded the business to Japan [1]. The product has been adopted by many game developers such as Gumi, Pokelabo, MyNet, Mutations Studio, KLab and NewsTech. The beta version has been operating for more than a half year now, but recently on April 2nd, the official version of 5Rocks was finally released, and is available in five languages, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, English, and Russian.

The pricing for the Japanese market was announced as well. There is a charge of one yen (about $0.01) is charged for each monthly active user for an app. If you have less than 10,000 MAU, then it’s free. The maximum fee would be 300,000 yen ($3000), for any app that has more than 30,000 MAU.

5Rocks offers a SDK as well, which game developers can implement into their app to acquire and analyze users activity data. In this new official version, 5Rocks added some new features based on the feedback from their beta phase, including the ability to chart correlation of user activity (who log-in regularly) and sales.

The chart indicates the variation of users, according to frequency of gameplay

A chart showing sales

The chart showing the number of the users playing a game in real time was particularly interesting (see below). I hear that some game developers even project this chart on a big screen in their office just to help motivate employees.


A growth hacking tool needs more than just data acquisition and the analysis. It needs to let game developers take action based on results. For that purpose, 5Rocks provide two added features: promotion and push-notification. Both functions target specific clusters of users based on certain attributes and lets game developers to send messages to those users’ smartphones by uploading images or text to 5Rocks’ dashboard. These features are adopted in the SDK, so members in charge of marketing can proceed with promotions or A/B tests without requiring support from engineers.

Promotion page: Select user attributes on the left. The image on the right is the ad for the promotion.

The promotion displayed in the app

According to Japan country manager, Yasuo Sato, 5Rocks has been adopted by about 80 game developers in Korea and Japan and about 200 apps. The company plans to expand to elsewhere in Asia, with the goal of being used by 3000 apps by the end of this year.

The competition in this field is quite fierce, with Kaizen’s planBCD just announcing that it has raised $5 million, and will expand to the US. There’s also Singapore-based Unicon which operates Fello, and CyberAgent subsidiary Sirok which operates Growth Push, Growth Replay, and Growth Point.

  1. The startup began as an online reservation application, but has since evolved to different business. ↩