Funding The Next Big Thing
It seems that 2012 was the year that games went looking for funding. On Kickstarter, though private donations and even fundraisers and bake sales, game companies tried to get their games to market however they could. A few made it, but many fell by the wayside. Begging the public for money is a tough road.
But there are other avenues. German-based venture capital provider, iVentureCapital made significant investments in the games industry. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2012, more than 300 games companies were screened, 60 were evaluated extensively, and eight enterprises received up to seven-figure investments.
iVentureCapital holds shares in the Californian mobile start-up Kamcord and game development companies, Farbflut Entertainment, Infernum, MobileBits and Pro 3 Games, as well as the portal Games.de, the Games Performance Network TrafficCaptain, and payment service provider BillingPartner. This makes the venture capital firm one of Germany’s leading games industry investors.
We caught up with Michael Reul, co-founder and CEO of iVentureCapital to chat about why his company longs to fund great games, how they pick the winners, and where the industry is headed.
GiN: Tell me about iVentureCapital and its goals.
Reul: The founders of iVentureCapital are experienced internet entrepreneurs, who are successfully doing business together in the technology sector for 15 years. iVentureCapital invests both early stage and later stage capital in innovative game developers (mobile, browser), game portals, and affiliate systems, using a smart-money approach by providing entrepreneurial services for portfolio companies.
iVentureCapital has access to a network of various companies which are specialized in Billing, Traffic Management (SEO, SEM) and Affiliation. Additionally, they have distinctive knowledge of monetization. Our portfolio companies appreciate the synergies and exchange of experiences amongst each other during our frequent portfolio workshops – the "iPoTs"(iVenture Portfolio Team) meetings. Since we are an independent company, we are able to develop excellent targeted strategies in cooperation with our partners. One big difference to other investors might be that we invest only our own money and no OPM and that is why we also offer hands-on entrepreneurial support. The company is headquartered in Hamburg (Germany), and has offices in Vienna (Austria) and Miami (USA).
GiN: Why Pro 3 Games in particular?
Reul: Pro 3 Games is operated by a young, yet experienced founding team whose members have already worked on international AAA game titles since graduating from the respected FH Hagenberg in Upper Austria. The innovative approach taken by Pro 3 Games has great potential to attract new target audiences and to foster an active player community. Apart from their years of experience in game development, the start-up team has particularly impressed us with their technical prowess, which puts ‘Starforce Delta’ into the same league as PlayStation 3 games visually.
GiN: What other firms are you looking at?
Reul: iVentureCapital is seeking other games industry start-ups or more experienced companies for strategic entrepreneurial involvement, i.e. ?smart money? investments, which can benefit from the investors? long-standing experience and synergies with the other companies in the iVentureCapital portfolio. These include developers of browser and mobile games, as well as gaming portals and performance advertising networks that have begun to establish a successful track record. Potential start-ups should be also able to present first achievements.
Stop by www.iventurecapital.com to find out more.