Fresh from being recognized as a Runner Up in HackerNoon’s Startups of the Year 2023 competition, Drope.me and its founder and CEO, Dima Okhrimchuk, are gaining attention in the gaming industry. Here’s the interview with Dima to discuss Drope.me’s approach to influencer marketing in gaming, the factors driving their growth, and his vision for the future of game discovery and promotion.




Tell us how your startup is changing the world.

Hi all! My name is Dima Okhrimchuk, I am the founder and CEO of Drope.me. I’m thrilled to be here and tell more about the unique platform my team and I are building!

Dima Okhrimchuk, founder and CEO of Drope.me. Image: Drope.me

Drope.me is a game-changer in how games will be discovered and promoted in the near future. We have built the world’s first influencer marketing platform that allows both indie developers and large publishers to engage micro-influencers and their communities at scale and only pay for performance! Our vision is to be the next-gen discovery platform for traditional and UGC games, where influencers and gamers are rewarded for promoting and playing games.

Influencer marketing has played a bigger role among gaming companies in recent years. With new ATT ad policies, even data-focused mobile gaming companies are starting to tap into this channel. However, if you ever tried launching an influencer marketing campaign, you know how complex, unpredictable, and costly this process may be. The need is here, but no solution on the market would streamline the process of engaging hundreds of influencers simultaneously in pure performance marketing campaigns. There is one now!   

On the other hand, since we see significant potential in tapping into a huge pool of micro-influencers, we are also creating new revenue stream opportunities for those creators. In our first six months after launch, we paid out over $70K to micro-influencers, with some making thousands of dollars on Drope.me. We are helping small creators get the attention they deserve from gaming brands and get paid for their efforts. 

What sets you apart from the competition?

Two things: a truly unique performance-based model and a focus on smaller content creators and their communities. I would call ourselves a three-sided marketplace since our goal is to help companies engage not just influencers but their communities, too. 

Although other platforms offer comparable services, none of them provide an opportunity to pay only for results. Since the official beta launch in June 2023, the platform has enabled over 250 gaming companies to grow their revenues and paid out over $70K to micro-influencers. Drope.me helps both indie game developers and large publishers engage thousands of micro-influencers and their communities and, unlike other platforms, only pay for completed actions. These could be influencer actions, such as “Stream and promote a game on Twitch,” “Create a TikTok video,” etc., or community actions like adding the game to the Steam Wishlist or purchasing the game. 

How Drope.me works. Image: Drope.me \n Also worth mentioning is that Drope.me not only helps micro-influencers earn money by streaming but also engages their audience through unique formats like Community Giveaways, where followers can participate and win prizes. This level of support and engagement for streamers and their communities sets Drope.me apart as a platform that genuinely cares about its users. We don’t consider them only as a tool for brands’ campaigns. Our initial goal was to build an equally beneficial platform for influencers and brands. And Drope.me is entirely free for influencers, of course.

What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?

Our team has extensive experience in marketing games and esports. One of the crucial points, in my opinion, is that we are core gamers, and some of us are also streamers. This allows us to understand the industry and its challenges, which we aim to tackle through Drope.me.

And I personally spent over 10 years working in corporate finance and tech. After that, I co-founded a CS:GO esports organization in 2020. Although the project was less scalable than we hoped, it led us to pivot toward influencer marketing. Witnessing the preference shift among celebrity streamers and pro gamers, we launched Drope.me to facilitate collaborations with gaming brands. I’ve been closely cooperating with both parts of our TA, developers, and influencers to know everything about their pains and preferences. As a result, we’ve built a truly beneficial platform for the gaming industry.

If you weren’t building your startup, what would you be doing?

I’d be building another startup 🙂

At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?

We consider several factors to evaluate the performance of our platform. Our North Star metric is GMV. We have been growing by 30% month over month. We are also looking into how much of that GMV has been generated by the returning customers since it indicates how satisfied they are with the platform and their results. 

We also pay attention to registering new influencers and the activity of those who have been with us for a while. We evaluate the number of companies they participate in simultaneously, the number of influencer actions they perform, and the percentage of their audience they bring to Drope.me.

What goals are you looking forward to accomplishing in 2024?

We plan to expand to working with UGC games, including Roblox and UEFN, and recently developed an additional integration on Drope.me. We also see opportunities to streamline the processes of launching and running the campaigns by integrating AI. More on that a bit later. We are also looking for business partnership opportunities with talent and marketing agencies, for example. We have an ongoing referral program that creates mutually beneficial opportunities.

Which trend(s) are you most excited about in 2024? Share your reasons.

The rise of AI and UGC. Artificial intelligence is everywhere now, and it’s something that I’m excited but careful about, too. There’s no discussion about its great help in every industry possible, starting from medicine and ending in gaming. But at the same time, we still have lots of things to learn to use and manage properly. There are many confidentiality issues, and adding AI features to every digital product isn’t the best idea either. But I guess when the hype slows down a bit, we can decide how to implement this incredible technology in the best way possible. 

As for the UGC, it represents a dynamic shift towards player-driven content creation, fostering a more interactive and immersive gaming ecosystem. With UGC, players become creators, generating their content within games. This trend encourages creativity and community engagement and extends the longevity of games as players continuously produce new content. Additionally, UGC provides game developers with valuable insights into player preferences and behaviors, enabling them to tailor future updates and releases to suit their audience better. 

2023 had been another crazy year, especially in tech, with layoffs and the Generative AI takeover! Which trend are you most concerned about? Be as brief or as detailed as you like.

That has been a tough year for the gaming industry as well. Macroeconomic risks and AI are definitely the factors influencing the landscape in the tech and gaming industries. However, I personally am more concerned with the russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. I worry whether the Western powers will remain united in their efforts to support Ukraine and the democratic values of Ukrainians. Of course, this is personal since I am Ukrainian, and my family and friends are there. Still, if Ukraine loses, then this will be a major shift in the whole global security system that could lead to the escalation of war conflicts all over the world, and no one will be safe in that new security paradigm.

Share your biggest success so far and/or your biggest failure so far.

From the recent victories we’re in Drope.me proud about the most is to be named Runner Up in the Startup of the Year Awards by Hackernoon. We launched our platform less than a year ago, in June 2023. And after such a short time, acquiring recognition from such a reputable community as Hackernoon is truly unique! Earlier in 2023, we were also named #3 Product of the Day and #3 Marketing Product of the Week on Product Hunt!

But also, we’re incredibly excited about the community-driven initiative we launched at the end of 2023, Drope.me Indie Game Awards. It aimed to celebrate the year’s best indie games and highlight their achievements to a broader audience. By inviting gaming enthusiasts, players, and streamers to nominate and vote for their favorite indie games, Drope.me fostered community engagement and recognition for indie developers. 

Drope.me Indie Game Awards 2023. Winners ceremony. Image: Drope.me

We got over 700 submissions, partnered with Lorgar and Indie Games Devel, and organized 34 Drops with 800 participants. The winners were announced live during the Twitch ceremony. We invited five other streamers to join the stream and hosted a fun quiz during the event, which reached a peak of 54 viewers and averaged 40.

There will be more projects and initiatives like this in 2024. So stay tuned for more!

We would love your feedback on HackerNoon as a tech publication! How has your experience been with us?

You have an incredibly engaged audience who knows everything and a bit more about the tech industry! We have already shared our story with you before, and the response from the readers was great.

Any words of wisdom you’d like to share with us?

Don’t be afraid to follow your passion. Even if you don’t have everything figured out but feel that there’s some dream, thought, or project worth pursuing – go for it and see where the path will take you. Be just brave enough to make a first step!

Startups of The Year is HackerNoon’s Flagship community-driven event celebrating startups that survived and thrived in 2023. 30,000 startups across 4200+ cities and six continents participated this year to be crowned the best startup in their city.

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