The path to their first million users. How we helped Carry1st get off the ground.

Uncovering the secrets of successful performance marketing in Africa: How Hyper helped Carry1st take flight & scale.

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Company Stage



Growth Marketing





Increased in ROI revenue

The path to their first million users. How we helped Carry1st get off the ground.

Project Overview

Carry1st was founded in 2018 to open Africa's 1.3 billion population to mobile gaming titles and enable publishers to profitably grow their games in a region plagued with data connectivity and payments issues. The founding team had a strong operational, financial, and development background but needed an experienced marketing force in gaming to set and execute their growth strategy. With ambitious goals and a primed market, they enlisted Hyper to establish their internal growth practice and pave the way to connect global publishers to the African market.

Starting with Carry1st's flagship trivia game, Hyper developed the infrastructure for Carry1st's marketing campaigns, launching their first campaigns while testing hundreds of creative concepts to find the recipe for ‘hero’ creatives that drove massive growth arcs.

Building upon Carry1st's success with their trivia game, Hyper's framework enabled the company to establish its co-publishing business and rapidly test prospective games. With performance marketing and creative strategy at the forefront of their growing operation, the team conducted phased user acquisition (UA) tests to validate all new games.

Hyper designed performance campaigns that provided insights and feedback throughout the test period for each game tested. This enabled Carry1st to confidently decide which games to invest in without committing long-term resources to titles that did not have product-market fit within the African market and fuel long-term growth.

Project Execution

A banner ad used for Carry1st;s live triva game.
Performance Marketing:
  • Hyper established and fully managed the core performance channel mix, including Facebook, Google Ads, Unity Ads, and Liftoff.
  • Built campaign infrastructure that enabled evergreen ("always on") campaigns allowing for highly scaleable growth.
  • Enabled Carry1st to be a truly pan-African publisher by launching and scaling their user base across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, from the start of operations.
  • Leveraged effective cross-promotion to reduce acquisition costs when testing and launching new titles.
Creative Strategy:
  • Concepted and tested all creatives for ads across all titles. Hyper's breadth of performance knowledge enabled the Carry1st team to accelerate learning and scale faster.
  • Creating compelling messaging that accurately conveyed key game features and developing a range of creatives tailored to different audiences - from casual players to hardcore gamers - optimized for the needs of each channel.
  • Conducted A/B testing of different creative concepts within specific campaigns to find the right mix of messaging and visuals that resonated with the Carry1st user base across different regions in Africa
Data & Analytics:
  • Sourced and implemented Carry1st's marketing stack with the needed tools to measure and inform key decisions and attribute marketing investments.
  • Developed custom reporting and dashboard to give the Carry1st team granular visibility into the progress of growth initiatives.
  • Aligned meaningful "North Star" KPIs to internal OKRs allowing Hyper to focus our efforts on results that drove the valuation of Carry1st.
Growth Operations:
  • Developed an effective budgeting and allocation system to allow Carry1st to make informed investment decisions in performance marketing channels.
  • Established performance target models based on the industry average performance benchmarks, historical performance data, and goals for user acquisition.
  • Provided a framework for Carry1st to test all prospective games with phased performance marketing tests as part of their internal due diligence process.
Establishing Carry1sts Internal Growth Team:
  • Hyper helped Carry1st recruit and train their first fully internal growth team as they transitioned from Start-Up to a Scale-Up.
  • To ensure an effective transition, we worked closely with Carry1st's newly established team to ensure 2.5 years of Hypers knowledge was transferred.
  • In 2022, we assisted the founders in recruiting their first Head of Growth from within Hyper's network to lead their team to unicorn status.


It is no surprise that performance marketing plays a major role in the success of mobile gaming studios, and Hyper was able to provide exactly what Carry1st needed to become successful. Performance marketing strategies from Hyper have enabled Carry1st to grow its business and establish itself as the top mobile publisher in Africa.

Today, Carry1st is Africa’s top mobile gaming publisher. The company has since raised over $57MM from investors that include a16z, Google, and Riot Games. Carry1st is now the critical publisher for AAA gaming studios such as Blizzard and Tilting Point when looking to introduce new and existing titles to African Consumers.

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