Turning ordinary apps into worldwide leaders with Vincent Hart de Keating (Kovalee)

Retention Podcast Acquisition Paywall A/B Testing


In the Subscription League podcast episode 27, we interview Vincent Hart de Keating, the CEO and Co-founder of Kovalee, a non-gaming app publishing platform. Vincent shares valuable insights into what it takes to turn ordinary apps into worldwide leaders and discusses the benefits of partnering with Kovalee. This article will break down into the key topics covered in the podcast and explore the structure of the publishing contract, the selection process for apps, the collaboration between app creators and publishers, and the future of AI-powered apps.

Kovalee’s promises for apps with high potential

Kovalee aims to become the leading non-gaming publishing platform. It engages in long-term partnerships with app developers to launch and scale apps in variety of app categories.

Vincent Hart de Keating, CEO of Kovalee, emphasizes the importance of selecting apps with extraordinary content and high engagement potential. The selection criteria used by Kovalee include the following:

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) related to user engagement and session times

  • The expertise of the app creators such as previous app successes and team size

  • The ambition and desire to become market leaders.

While these are the crucial elements Kovalee looks for in partnering apps, the team handles various aspects of app development, including UX/UI design, app store optimization (ASO), user acquisition, monetization, and the financial burden of these services. 

Successful apps in Kovalee's portfolio

Following are examples of successful apps in Kovalee’s portfolio:

  • Bend, the #1 stretching app worldwide: 9x User LTV, 150x MRR 

  • PepTalk, a 5-star motivational companion: 22x MRR, 5x User LTV, 10x active subscriptions

  • WeBurn, a workout app for women: 4x User LTV, 10x monthly recurring profits 

  • PLAW, a phone customization app: 5x User LTC, 20x monthly

The future of AI apps

Kovalee’s partnering app, Mage, the AI image creation app

Kovalee’s partnering app, Mage, the AI image creation app

Vincent discusses the emerging category of AI apps on the App Store and predicts a new generation of apps powered by artificial intelligence such as the AI image generation app, Mage the company is partnering with. He envisions AI transforming various verticals, including nutrition apps that can provide tailored menus and recipes based on user preferences. The integration of AI technology will enhance user experiences and improve app functionality, paving the way for innovative and personalized mobile applications.

From implementation to long-term collaboration

When app creators join forces with Kovalee, they embark on a journey filled with thrilling possibilities and fruitful collaboration. Here’s a closer look at what this partnership entails, from the initial implementation stage to the ongoing collaboration in the long run.

Implementation of tools and technologies

During the initial week, the focus is on implementing Kovalee's suite of tools. Depending on the creator's skills, the integration can take from two hours to one week. Once all the tools are in place, including those for ASO (App Store Optimization), product development, user acquisition, and monetization, the app can start benefiting from Kovalee's technologies.

Creating a product roadmap and A/B testing

The team works closely with the app creator to establish a product roadmap. Quick wins are identified based on metrics and benchmarking. Kovalee uses both external benchmarks and internal data to pinpoint areas that require attention. For example, if the onboarding process needs improvement, A/B testing is conducted. Multiple versions of the onboarding flow are prepared, and the app creator implements them. Kovalee's A/B testing technology distributes new users among these versions and forecasts their future lifetime value. After a week, interim KPIs and future lifetime values are evaluated to assess progress.

Continuous collaboration and test-and-learn methodology

Throughout the collaboration, app creators actively participate in brainstorming sessions for creatives, setting up A/B tests, and providing insights into their app's vision and past experiences. Kovalee follows a test-and-learn methodology in all aspects of app development, including product, creatives, user acquisition, ASO, and monetization. Every step of the way, data is gathered, winners are chosen, and iterations are made to ensure constant improvement.

Vincent Hart de Keating (Kovalee) interviewed by Subscription League podcast


More about Vincent

After successfully founding one of the largest publishers of mobile gaming apps, Homa Games, Vincent Hart de Keating is now the CEO & Co-founder of Kovalee - a company that brings the publishing model to non-gaming apps. Since it was founded in 2021, Kovalee has helped several apps reach #1 worldwide through its team of experts and in-house technologies. Vincent has over 10 years of experience working with apps and is passionate about empowering small teams of app creators to become resounding successes worldwide.

Episode 27 Sneak Peek

On pillars of an app’s success

Basically, you have six pillars to make an app very successful. Content, that's the first one. Without extraordinary content, you cannot have a worldwide leader. Code, and those two parts are on the app creator side. We take care of product, ASO, user acquisition, and monetization.”

On the future of AI apps

“It will make it easier for user to access exactly what they need inside apps. I really believe we will have a whole new generation of mobile apps powered by AI.”

On partnering with apps

“It's very important to understand that it's a profit sharing on the duration of the life of the app. If a partner is not willing to share everything and wants to keep control of everything, it's useless to contact us, basically.”

On the test-and-learn methodology

“We test, we measure, we choose the winner, we iterate again everywhere. In this way, there is only one way your app can go, it's up. Fast or more slowly, depending on how successful we are with the test that we propose, but you never go back.”

Episode Topics at a Glance

  • The role of a publisher in app development 

  • Examples of successful app partnerships with Kovalee 

  • Onboarding and A/B testing 

  • Forecasting and automation technologies 

  • User acquisition with smart technologies 

  • Monetization tips: personalization and segmentation

How to listen to Subscription League

Go to SubscriptionLeague.com or subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Amazon Music, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. 


Previous episodes

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#2: Babbel Live - How to create a success in a crowded market with Belen Caeiro

#3: Mojo - Strategies you should focus on for a successful subscription business with Jean Patry

#4: The Guardian - Growing the user base The Guardian way - with Jesse Wilkins

#5: Blinkist - Using transparency to increase your conversion rate with Eveline Moczko

#6: Rootd - How to bootstrap #1 health and fitness app with Ania Wysocka

#7: Luni - Subscription Marketing 101: tips to drive acquisition and retention with Adrien Miniatti 

#8: Uptime - How to build a successful user-first app strategy with Léa Samrani 

#9: GP Bullhound - What venture investors look for in subscription apps with Eric Crowley

#10: Phiture - How to optimize mobile app subscription with Andy Carvell

#11: Jodel - Shifting from ads to In-App Subscription-led revenue generation with Tim Schmitz

#12: BlueThrone - Product market fit, Subscription, and Other Secrets of Success by Idan Waller

#13: Aperture - Tips for Creating the Right Mindset for Business Growth by Hannah Parvaz

#14: MobileGroove - The Subscription Model - the state, benefits, and success tips by Peggy Anne Salz

#15: Appic - All about subscription app onboarding with Tobias Boerner

#16: Together Labs - Leveraging user research to maximize subscription app monetization with Jenny Pollock

#17: BlueThrone - Product market fit, Subscription, and Other Secrets of Success by Idan Waller

#18: Pollen VC - A guide to financing your user acquisition with Martin Macmillan 

#19: CoinState - Finding the sweet spot with the right subscription app monetization and pricing strategy with Vahe Baghdasaryan 

#20: PhotoRoom - How to grow a subscription app business and its user base globally by Olivier Lemarié

#21: App Masters - How to monetize your app: expert tips from Steve P. Young (App Masters)

#22: How Mimo builds an experimentation culture with Ekaterina Gamsriegler

#23: Applica - Framework for subscription optimization: tips from behavioral science expert Sviat Hnizdovskyi

#24: Papumba - Making a safe digital playground for kids with Gonzalo Rodriguez

#25: Transitioning to Digital: Insights from Michael Ribero of The Washington Post

#26: Sweatcoin - Redefining motivation and user retention in the fitness app landscape with Rowan Pereira

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