From pre-revenue to closing Series- A of $25M within 2 years

How we built growth strategy and a content system to optimize paid and social campaigns for scalable customer acquisition and user retention.

The partner

Tesseract Investment is a regulated institutional digital asset lending company based in Finland, providing yield-generating solutions to institutional clients, such as cryptocurrency trading platforms and custodians across Europe and other emerging markets.

Their white-label product, Earn API by Tesseract, enables partners to offer their customers different financial products tailored to specific risk strategies. Tesseract Investment built a p2p lending platform (named WhaleLend) and they wanted to acquire more users for their cryptocurrency HODLing app.

Kasvuly Services

Go-to-market strategy

Lead generation

Paid Ads

Content Marketing

Marketing Automation


A quick look


Increase in paid users


Onboarding user retention


Facebook growth
"“There have been immediate results, mainly in user growth. Other results I could highlight having a more systematic approach, running marketing campaigns, testing, growth experimenting, getting records of the results, and being more disciplined with data analytics.” "
Ilkka from Tesseract Group, Finland

Ilkka Salo, COO
Tesseract Investment Oy

The challenge

“Given the variety of our needs, it would have been challenging to find just one person who would be able to do all the work that Kasvuly has been doing for us.”

After months spent building the crypto-based saving platform Whalelend, Terrasact Group launched the app and aggressively searched for the best channels to acquire users for Whalelend. Like many early-stage startups, the founding team at Terrasact Group realized that acquiring users while on a tight marketing budget was its biggest challenge. Besides aggressively acquiring users, Whalelend wanted to build a systematic user acquisition machine that combined content marketing, community management, and analytics. 

“Any product, however good, doesn’t have a lot of value unless it has enough users,” according to Ilkka Salo.

The Strategy

Build  a go-to-market strategy that works

It was a big challenge to define and run user acquisition for Whalelend for three reasons: 1) Whalelend greatly lacked the human resources needed for marketing, 2) Whalelend released their product at the time the crypto industry was experiencing major corrections, and 3) Facebook ads and Google ads set strict guidelines for financial assets and cryptocurrency products.

We started the process by having a one-day meeting with the founding team at Whalelend to understand their product (unique selling points, potential WOW points etc.) and define key target customers. We built comprehensive personas of several target users. Then we created a sprint-based growth marketing framework for Whalelend. For startups, it is important to identify the winning channel to acquire users. Besides the growth marketing framework, we adopted the Bullseye Framework to get traction for user acquisition.

Build content strategy and create SEO-optimized content in steroid

Standing out in the crypto market is difficult because the market is filled with lots of noise and many brands big and small. Marketing in the crypto market should be aggressive with big budgets poured into affiliate marketing, bounty, and referral marketing: using money incentives in referral to acquire users fast. With our tight budget, we got started in a different direction: we focused on building awareness and trustability through content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and community marketing. 

At the begining, our marketing goals were to bring high-quality traffic to the the website, build a subscriber list, and convert visitors to users as much as possible. We run data analysis every month to do a/b testing and optimize our content, keywords, and experiments for conversion. 

  • Keyword research 
  • SEO audit and optimization 
  • Link building 
  • SEO-optimized blog content  
  • Lead magnets: whitepaper to educate visitors about the concept behind Whalelend 
  • Lead magnets:  webinar to educate visitors and users 

The user research we conducted for Whalelend helped the team identify the pain points of users; which shaped the brand messages and topics in blog posts and social media marketing. Then keyword research was done to list out the best keywords with high search volume and low competition. We created blog posts based on user research, keyword research, and topic research. Our blog posts were created to target different buyer personas of Whalelend

Without the budget to run advertising to promote blog posts (as some part of the budget is to run UA ads), we used other tactics to grow organic traffic to the blog page. Forum sharing, Quora and Reddit marketing, Medium marketing, social media marketing, and video marketing are among the tactics we used to bring traffic to the blog page FAST. 

“Given the variety of our needs, it would have been challenging to find just one person who would be able to do all the work that Kasvuly has been doing for us.” - Ilkka Salo, COO

Conversion Rate Optimization & Experimenting with robust speed

Bringing traffic to blog posts is not enough for user acquisition but it was a part of our framework. The more data on the website, the more hypotheses we could have to run experiments for conversion optimization. Besides running remarketing to convert website visitors into signups and paying users, we ran several experiments for conversion optimization. We did A/b testing on regular basis and use our robust data reporting (Looker, and Amplitude) to help us validate the experiment fast and efficient.

Improve User Activation and User Retention via Marketing Automation

15 minutes to the first three days after users sign up is very important to convert a free sign-up to a paid client and long-term client. Our goal is to activate the trial sign-up via using in-app messages, and an onboarding email sequence. 

We set up Intercom message sequences, in-app messages, and onboarding email sequences to nurture users after signing up. We ran A/B testing and personalization for Intercom chat messages and onboarding email sequences. 

Besides onboarding email sequences, we also create email marketing campaigns to grow users and increase their usage activities (upsell),  and drip emails for education purposes. The drip email sequence provides educational values for Whalelend users. 

Data analytics is the backbone of our GROWTH machine 

Our data analytic team set up tracking tools ( Google Analytics, GTM, Amplitude, Hotjar), event tracking, key metrics, and reporting dashboards. We provide real-time dashboards so our team and Whalelend team can easily check data and measure experiments (success or not) before we scale up the experiments. 

Data analytics helped our client and our project team in marketing and product development. The data analytics helped our client team create better UI/ UX for their users as well. 

The results

“for organic content, the results will really start to show after half a year.” - Ilkka Salo

Tesseract grew their users by more than 80% within 3 months and …. Within 5 months, Tesseract website also increased its ranking to the first pages with their major keywords in Europe and the USA without using paid advertising for blog posts. 

The content Kasvuly created provides quality organic traffic. Google, Facebook, and Twitter don´t allow ads for cryptocurrency, so organic traffic is mission-critical.

We also helped Whalelend grow  293% in Facebook Page followers via social post content, and Facebook contributed more than 30% to the user sign-ups. 

Summary of the results:

  • 80 % more paid users in 3 months
  • Boosted User Sessions by 48 %
  • Gained 69 % more Page Views
  • 20 % uplift in Page Views per Session
  • Increased the Average Session by 35 %
  • 293 % growth in Facebook as a user acquisition channel


Key Takeaways

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Let's Grow

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