Our Updates

Analysis of MOS Alvin Tan’s Speech at Gamescom Asia 2022

In our recent post, we covered MOS Alvin Tan’s speech at Gamescom Asia 2022. This is the first gaming event that happened in Singapore since the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, we will be going in-depth about our analysis of his speech, as well as our own thoughts on the market in general.

Key Parts of the Speech on the Market and What Singapore Intends to Do as the Esports and Gaming Hub

The global industry experienced a 20% growth between 2019 to 2022, with the South-east Asian market expected to triple between 2017 and 2023. In 2020 alone, Singapore’s local e-gaming market grew by 15%. Singapore will continue to explore how to grow the sector, and strengthen our position as one of Asia’s leading media and entertainment hubs. We are already home to a wide variety of game development studios and publishing firms, including triple A studios like Ubisoft, Mihoyo, Riot and Bandai Namco. We will continue supporting our homegrown companies as they explore the frontier of new and immersive content formats and business models. I am confident our gaming industry will continue to thrive as our local players develop original, innovative and world class gaming content.

Singapore remained a choice destination for major e-sports tournaments in 2022. Notable tournaments include the Garena Free Fire World Series, League of Legends Wild Rift Icons Global Championship, and the 11th edition of Dota 2’s The International that is happening concurrently alongside gamescom Asia. This is the first time that Dota 2’s The International, the biggest event on its competitive calendar, is being organized in a South-east Asian country. We are proud to host fans and enthusiasts from all over the world. These events demonstrate Singapore’s ability to host such events, and we hope to remain the choice destination for best-in-class e-sports events.

I want to re-affirm Singapore’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of the e-gaming and e-sports industry. As I shared last year, I am also a fan in e-gaming and e-sports. Beyond the economic value of the industry, I believe that it also helps to instill personal values such as teamwork and creativity. E-sports provide our youths with opportunities to learn and grow. The e-sports Academy by the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA), and supported by the National Youth Council, provides tailored e-sports programs to educate youths with important values such as resilience and leadership.

Singaporeans can also boost their health and wellness through active virtual sports such as virtual cycling hosted on the Zwift platform. Our teams seek to actively promote and ensure that people understand and appreciate the value of the e-sports and e-gaming industry. I will continue to be a champion for the industry.

Our Thoughts on the Industry

Indeed, the e-sports and gaming market has been booming for the last couple of years, and this trend has been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We envision that the market will continue to push strong despite the weakening economy. Gaming has become a way of entertainment that allows for a 2-way communication unlike most other entertainment forms.

Meanwhile, while this year’s TI only offers a prize pool of ~$17m (compared to TI 2021’s $40m prize pool), we believe e-sports market will still continue to grow. We also noticed that mobile is a trend that will continue to grow, with Southeast Asia likely to lead the pack in terms of growth rate.

The growth of Web3 and the resurgence of the metaverse will also empower another wave of gaming in the Web3 space. However, we strongly believe that the unit economics of the Play-to-Earn model is yet to be validated properly, as seen by the crash in the Axie Infinity Shards vis a vis Bitcoin (the gold standard of cryptocurrency).

Source: MacroAxis.com – As seen in the diagram, Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) have constantly underperformed Bitcoin (BTC) over time.

Hopefully, we will see more potential in the infrastructure tech space for e-sports and gaming.

If you would like to be part of this revolution by strengthening its foundation, please reach out to us regarding our upcoming venture fund.

Speech by Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Alvin Tan at Gamescom Asia 2022

Reproduced from https://www.mti.gov.sg/Newsroom/Speeches/2022/10/Speech-by-MOS-Alvin-Tan-at-Gamescom-Asia-2022

Introduction

Good morning. Wonderful to join you for this year’s gamescom asia conference in person.

When we had the inaugural conference last year, we were still in the troughs of the COVID-19 pandemic. I recall many of you could only join us virtually due to the Safe Management Measures restrictions. Fast forward a year, we have achieved so much as we transited to living to COVID-19. Now, we are able to meet each other face to face, and welcome our guests from all around the world back in Singapore. For that, I thank everyone for working with us.

Singapore’s MICE industry on a strong rebound

We have made a strong recovery as a key global destination for Business Events and Exhibitions and other large-scale tourism events. Allow me to highlight some examples. A few weeks ago, Singapore hosted the long-awaited return of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix. We were captivated by the roar of the engines as well as the energy from the crowd. Welcomed more than 302,000 attendees, a record turnout since the inaugural edition in 2008.

The strong return of marquee international events, such as the gamescom asia conference, also speaks to Singapore’s strong recovery. This year’s gamescom asia is expected to receive at least 4 times more visitors than in 2021. We also have other exciting international tentpole events lined up, such as the Food and Hotel Asia HoReCa, Singapore International Energy Week, Singapore Fintech Festival and Singapore Media Festival. These events help bring the world to Singapore, and Singapore to the world. And bring people together. Apart from tourism receipts, global business events serve as strong catalysts to gather business leaders and industry players, like yourselves, to network, exchange ideas and build new business opportunities.

The robust recovery we are witnessing is only possible because of the continued resilience and adaptability of the business events industry. Thank you for soldiering on! We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with stakeholders like Koelnmesse to capture new opportunities arising from a post-pandemic future.

The global pandemic has supercharged interest for the gaming and e-sports industry

The e-gaming and e-sports industry has been one of the bright sparks amidst the economic gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to research firm Newzoo[1], the global industry experienced a 20% growth between 2019 to 2022, with the South-east Asian market expected to triple between 2017 and 2023. In 2020 alone, Singapore’s local e-gaming market grew by 15%.

Singapore will continue to explore how to grow the sector, and strengthen our position as one of Asia’s leading media and entertainment hubs. We are already home to a wide variety of game development studios and publishing firms, including triple A studios like Ubisoft, Mihoyo, Riot and Bandai Namco. We will continue supporting our homegrown companies as they explore the frontier of new and immersive content formats and business models. I am confident our gaming industry will continue to thrive as our local players develop original, innovative and world class gaming content.

Singapore continues to be a choice destination to host gaming/ e-sports events

Singapore remained a choice destination for major e-sports tournaments in 2022. Notable tournaments include the Garena Free Fire World Series, League of Legends Wild Rift Icons Global Championship, and the 11th edition of Dota 2’s The International that is happening concurrently alongside gamescom Asia. This is the first time that Dota 2’s The International, the biggest event on its competitive calendar, is being organized in a South-east Asian country. We are proud to host fans and enthusiasts from all over the world. These events demonstrate Singapore’s ability to host such events, and we hope to remain the choice destination for best-in-class e-sports events.

Conclusion

We want to do more with likeminded stakeholders and industry partners as Singapore seeks to be the Global Asia Node for business events. Therefore, I am pleased to witness the MOU signing between Koelnmesse and STB that is happening after this, as they reaffirm their commitment to anchoring and expanding gamescom asia in Singapore. With the new B2C segment launching in 2023, I am excited to welcoming more regional visitors to Singapore to participate in the festivities at gamescom asia.

I want to re-affirm Singapore’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of the e-gaming and e-sports industry. As I shared last year, I am also a fan in e-gaming and e-sports. Beyond the economic value of the industry, I believe that it also helps to instill personal values such as teamwork and creativity. E-sports provide our youths with opportunities to learn and grow. The e-sports Academy by the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA), and supported by the National Youth Council, provides tailored e-sports programs to educate youths with important values such as resilience and leadership.

Singaporeans can also boost their health and wellness through active virtual sports such as virtual cycling hosted on the Zwift platform. Our teams seek to actively promote and ensure that people understand and appreciate the value of the e-sports and e-gaming industry. I will continue to be a champion for the industry.

I wish everyone a fruitful and engaging conference ahead. And now it’s GAME ON!

Thank you.

An Analysis of Gaming Investment Rounds in Europe (2022)

Adapted from: https://sifted.eu/articles/gaming-investments-2022/

It seems like the metaverse hype isn’t going to die down anytime soon, although mobile gaming is still where investors in Europe focus most of their energy on. For VCs looking for a return, gaming presents a daunting landscape of fickle tastes and high development costs, but if done right, offers potentially tremendous returns.

Source: Dealroom

Globally, the number of gaming investments in the first half of 2022 exceeded the previous (record-breaking) year, and global revenues are forecast to rise from $175.8bn in 2021 to $218.7bn in 2024.

While a relatively small percentage of investments into gaming companies to date in 2022 went to mobile gaming startups, the subsector drew in the most investment across the industry with the highest average round size (€36.2m). Metaverse and Web3 companies attracted the second most capital, but with a far smaller average round size (€9.2m), followed by esports platforms (€7.5m).

Source: Dealroom

Some examples of deals that we would like to see in our portfolio (given our focus):

  • Nefta — platform for developing Web3 games; HQ: Berlin, Germany. $1m seed round, June 2022.
  • Moralis — developer platform for Web3 applications, including games; HQ: Stockholm, Sweden. $40m Series A, May 2022.
  • Playzap — play to earn gaming platform; HQ: Barcelona, Spain. Seed round (undisclosed amount), May 2022.
  • RSTLSS — Web3 platform for creating digital wearables; HQ: London, UK. $3.5m seed round, March 2022.
  • Banger Games — play to earn platform for gamers; HQ: Madrid, Spain. €10m seed round, February 2022.
  • Ajuna — Web3 platform for game developers using Unity and Unreal engines; HQ: Switzerland. $2m seed round, February 2022.
  • Bayes Esports — esports data provision service; HQ: Berlin, Germany. €6m seed round, May 2022.
  • Leagues — SaaS platform for national esports league; HQ: Denmark. €200k grant, March 2022.
  • Aggero — analytics and monetisation platform for esports and streaming industry; HQ: London, UK. $2m seed round, March 2022 (we met them some time back but had to pass as we are still in fundraising stage).
  • SwiftSkill — analytics tool for competitive gamers; HQ: Guernsey, UK. £150k seed round, January 2022.
  • Gamestry — video platform and community for gamers; HQ: Barcelona, Spain. $3m seed round, April 2022.
  • Konect — website building tool for gamers creating content; HQ: Guernsey, UK. €800k seed round, March 2022.
  • Soba — no-code tool for game development; HQ: Berlin, Germany. $13.5m seed round, June 2022.
  • Lurkit — content creation platform for game developers and publishers; HQ: Linköping, Sweden. $2.7m seed round, June 2022.
  • Machinations — collaborative platform for game design and balancing; HQ: Luxembourg. $3.3m Series A, May 2022.
  • LootLocker — cross-platform development tool for indie studios; HQ: Stockholm, Sweden. $2.1m seed round. May 2022.
  • Coherence — cloud-based tool for multiplayer games; HQ: Malmo, Sweden. $8m seed round, April 2022.
  • Improbable — cloud-based platform for large-scale game development; HQ: London, UK. $150m Series B, April 2022.
  • Sloyd — platform for building 3D animated assets; HQ: Oslo, Norway. €600k seed round (6m kr), February 2022.
  • Speech Graphics — audio driven facial animation software; HQ: Edinburgh, UK. $7m seed round, February 2022.
  • Return Entertainment — platform for building cloud-based games; HQ: Helsinki, Finland. $6m seed round, February 2022.
  • LootLocker — cross-platform development tool for indie studios; HQ: Stockholm, Sweden. Undisclosed  pre-seed round. January 2022.
  • App Radar — AI-powered software to help mobile games be discovered in app stores; HQ: Graz, Austria. €2m seed round, January 2022.
  • Nware — cloud gaming platform; HQ: Madrid, Spain. €1.1m seed round, January 2022.

If you are a similar company that does similar things to some of these companies, feel free to reach out to us.

For the investors in the market, be part of our fund to explore the unlimited world of esports and gaming.

The Process of Licensing

Today, I can share that Gamerforce Ventures Pte. Ltd. is now officially a licensed financial institution registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore carrying out Venture Capital Fund Management activities.

This entire process of 15-16 months working towards the license reminded me of many things from my startup days. And here are some lessons that I would like to share from this process.

  1. Know why you want to do what you are planning to do. If it is solely for the money, you won’t be able to last. It is a vision that kept me going, something I will share at the end of this post.
  2. Have a group of close friends who you know you can rely on. More often than not, I have had a number of friends who backed the Archangel Fund as a separate SPV. This allowed me to focus my attention on building up our track record while we continue the licensing process.
  3. This is only the first step. As the saying goes, “the only easy day was yesterday”. Once this is done, there are many more steps behind, fundraising, legal paperwork, capital deployment, portfolio management, and harvesting. And the cycle repeats itself.
  4. Things happen in cycles. Even in such difficult times, there are opportunities with great founders out there raising capital. Valuations have re-adjusted to become more realistic.

Why do we do what we do? What is the purpose of our existence?

We empower mavericks globally to launch and scale global, disruptive companies to better the world for our future generations.

Congratulations to Bountie on their Initial DEX Offering

We would like to congratulate our portfolio company, Bountie, for launching the Bountie Hunter Initial DEX Offering with Enjinstarter. This is a leap forward to connect millions of web 2 gamers to web 3 games. We wish them all the very best in this journey and look forward to their growth in the coming months.

Portfolio Company #2: Goama

A couple of months ago, we decided to invest in our second portfolio company, Goama, and today, I will walk you through why we decided to invest in the company.

How We Met

I first saw Goama’s booth as a “Netflix for Games” in 2018’s SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology) Launch Dinner (in which I was participating as an angel investor). I was intrigued by their Games-as-a-Service model. It was something that I have seen working on X-box and PlayStation, but not on the mobile phone. Unfortunately, I missed the founders as they were probably doing something else, somewhere else.

I met William from SOSV about angel investing, venture funds, and how to raise money from LPs about a year back (I think it was July/August 2020), and he kindly made an introduction for me to a few of their portfolio companies, including Goama.

Taro (the founder) and I then had a face-to-face meeting (that was April 2021) at Novena’s Slow Bakes while I was having my (very overdue) lunch. We had a good time discussing where his business was going and about his journey as an entrepreneur. We had been keeping tabs on him since 2018 and saw that the company grew from strength to strength. I told him honestly that we were still raising capital from LPs and he was OK with it.

Eventually, we managed to get in our first LP, Gideon (CEO of Shalom Movers Group), and he agreed to fund me US$50k to kick start my entire fund management journey (so thank you for that push and your trust Gideon). We then used that money to “knock” on Goama’s door again, this time saying that we would like to invest. Thankfully, Taro agreed (man, I must be a lucky man).

What is Goama?

Goama is a gaming platform built for businesses. The company has combined the best of esports and the best of casual games to create a casual esports gaming platform where players compete on casual games, ranked on live leaderboards, to win real-world prizes.

Its turnkey solution transforms any app into a gaming powerhouse within 14 days to drive engagement. monetization and acquisition. The result is a compelling user experience with more than 15 minutes of time spent per session and increased transactions on other verticals within the app’s ecosystem as well as a social community built on the foundation of competitive gaming.

With such an engaged base of users on our partners’ apps, the company has created a new channel of experiential marketing for brands to connect at an emotional level with consumers with custom games that resonate with their story and image. The result is a win-win for brands and our partner apps, who in turn benefit from the ability to further monetize their user base as an audience.

Today, the company is present in over 18 countries with the leading super apps in key verticals of fintech, delivery, media, and entertainment. Their user base is north of 2.5million and growing, driving more than 21 million gameplays every month. It is backed by SOSV and Axiata Digital with a versatile team of 35 passionate and talented individuals operating across 9 countries in Asia and Latin America.

Check out their LEAN Canvas here:

Our Investment Thesis

  1. Hypercasual games have seen unprecedented growth in 2019/2020. It is estimated that the approximate market for hypercasual games to be in the region of $2 billion to $2.5 billion in annual revenue. (The Truth About Hypercasual Games, Venture Beat)
  2. Founders have previously worked together well in Myanmar, with Wayne (co-founder and CTO) being Taro’s client in the latter’s previous startup, VillageLink.
  3. So far, we have seen very strong growth trajectory, with founders having pivoted away the business from a B2C subscription model (similar to Netflix) to a B2B subscription model to offer consumers free access to the games. This allows a stronger user base and hence opportunity to grow partnerships with other potential super-apps such as Grab and Go-Jek.
  4. Despite being a 4-year-old company, the business has expanded pretty globally, with strongholds in SEA, LATAM, China, Bangladesh, India and Russia. This gives them the first mover advantage to capture a global play, something not usually seen in companies that have raised sub-US$5m rounds.
  5. Valuation seems reasonable considering their growth rate, with potential to reach US$800m to US$1.5bn in the next 6 years or so.

If you want to learn more about our investment thesis and also our fund, please feel free to reach out at lance@gamerforce.ventures, we would love to here from you.

From: Lance Quek | Founding Managing Partner | Gamerforce Ventures

Gamerforce Ventures Launches Inaugural Fund, Joins the Pledge 1% Movement and Pledges to Donate 1% of GP Carried Interests to the Community

SINGAPORE: Gamerforce Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Singapore, announced today that it is launching its inaugural fund after launching a smaller investment holding company within the partners’ networks. It has also joined Pledge 1%, a global movement to create a new normal for companies of all sizes and stages to have a positive social impact through their business. Gamerforce Ventures is joining over 12,000 companies around the world who have committed to Pledge 1% of either their product, profit, equity, carried interest (for venture investors) and/or staff time to a charity of their choosing. Gamerforce Ventures is proud to announce its commitment to donate 1% of its general partner’s carried interest to a charity partner, and the team is currently looking through its list of potential partners.

The donation is focused on empowering young persons in their journey as entrepreneurs. Such a donation will be in the form of shares in the general partner vehicle created for the fund, which is structured as a limited partnership.

Lance Quek, Founding Managing Partner of Gamerforce Ventures, shared, “We are excited for the launch of our inaugural fund after a delay in fundraising due to the COVID-19 situation, and look forward to providing continuous support for the developing esports ecosystem in Southeast Asia and other markets. The ecosystem built around our investment model allows us to focus on increasing the opportunities for scale for the startups, thereby increasing the chance for attractive returns while lowering the risk of the investments made by the fund for our limited partners. Alongside our investment partners, operations partners and LPs, we are poised to create a bigger impact and stronger, better tomorrow for our future generations.”

Gamerforce Ventures is proud to join the Pledge 1% community and encourages other companies to take the pledge and leverage their business as a force for good.

To learn more about Gamerforce Venture’s program, visit www.gamerforce.vc or contact biz4gd@gamerforce.vc.

…..

About Gamerforce Ventures

Gamerforce Ventures is a global venture capital firm based out of Singapore, intending to invest in startups within esports, gaming and entertainment. Its main focus is Southeast Asia, with opportunistic investments outside the region. To date, its portfolio companies have came through prestigious accelerator programs and have been backed by top tier venture capital and private equity firms.

About Pledge 1%

Pledge 1% is a global movement that inspires, educates, and empowers every entrepreneur, company, and employee to be a force for good. Over 12,000 members in 100+ countries have used Pledge 1%’s flexible framework to ignite half a billion dollars in new philanthropy. To learn more about Pledge 1% and to take the pledge visit www.pledge1percent.org.

Creating Value to the Ecosystem – Why We Decided to Raise a Community Fund

Fundraising is part and parcel of the job of a VC. It’s something that one can’t run away from. One can imagine the sophistication and finesse needed to raise capital for a startup. Multiply that by a thousand to a million times, that is what is needed for a GP to raise a venture fund. That is also been amplified by the fact that many LPs wanted to see some track record before they make any investment.

Recently, we have spoken to a number of individual LPs that have expressed interest in co-investing with us. Also, we realized a need for us to be able to move fast in the market. Over the past couple of months, we have been pained by the constraint of capital for Gamerforce Ventures Global Fund I, which caused us to have to ask founders to give us time – not a good position to be in.

With the time needed for fundraising for Gamerforce Ventures Global Fund I, we felt that the timing was still key to get access to the best deals to help the best founders we see out there succeed. As such, on the proposal of a couple of friends, we decided to launch a pico-fund (<US$2m), a vehicle by the name of Gamerforce Ventures Community Fund I (the “Community Fund“).

Don’t get me wrong, the fundraising efforts for Gamerforce Ventures Global Fund I will continue along the way. However, the Community Fund will give early angels a special taste of what it is like to be invested in a fund. It also gives future investors a good sensing about our track record and growth progress.

Whether part or whole of the Community Fund will be absorbed by Gamerforce Ventures Global Fund I is still a question up for debate. However, LPs can now see a translucent pool of investments that we have made in the Community Fund to give them more confidence.

Participation in the Community Fund is for select investors only. Please feel free to reach out to the partnership at partners@gamerforce.vc if you would like to have a chat about our Community Fund.

[Fund Feature] Funding Video Games; Venture Capital in Gaming

[First Published on April 16, 2021]
https://mediatech.ventures/funding-for-the-video-game-industry/

As of 2020, the PC and Mobile gaming industries accounted for $37 billion USD and $77 billion USD respectively.

With the advent of this ‘new normal’ and its corresponding restrictions, persons have found themselves in need of alternative forms of relaxation and entertainment.

Whilst theatres, museums, and cinemas have been forced to close, mobile gaming has thrived and is surfacing as a hobby for many. On a personal note, I have never been a gamer, but I too found myself fixated on at least three favourites within the last year. It turns out that I was not alone in this endeavour as 70 percent of the persons who have been playing these kinds of games (hyper-casual) do not identify as gamers. According to Adjust and Unity’s Hypercasual Gaming Report 2020, within one week in March 2020, there were 1.2 billion downloads of these easy-to-use, easy-to-make, easy-on-the-eye, free-to-play casuals.

The week in question is on record as the greatest week for app installs to date.

Hyper casual is emerging as a darling category of gaming (and interestingly, this surge predates the Covid-19 pandemic). Hyper casual accounted for almost eighty percent of the games downloaded in 2019. This new type of game had the propensity to create a new set of users and producers, further disrupting the industry with what INSEAD Professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne often refer to for companies as a “Blue Ocean Strategy”.

Whilst in a conversation with a classmate who recently launched his own comic book business, I suggested gaming as a way to diversify. Subsequent to making the suggestion, I thought about what funding options developers with a new interest in this field would have at their disposal.

The funding of gaming has evolved and expanded with time- further leveling the playing field and increasing competition. Traditionally, studios would solely seek to win the approval of big-name publishers such as Tencent GamesNintendo, or Electronic Arts (EA). These traditional publishers would have the frameworks, infrastructure, audience, and capital to finance the design, development, marketing, and distribution of the pitched video game.

Publishers would either take a split of sales or immediately recoup advance payments once sales commenced. President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, recently said that the digital transformation we have experienced in the last year equates to seven years of transformation under normal circumstances. These days, traditional publishing is being commoditized and publishers ought to constantly re-evaluate their business models.

This time has been described as the ‘golden era of gaming’. It is the opportune hour for developers because it means that they need not simply go to a publisher to get recognized. Some might even argue that it is detrimental to go to the publisher.

Carbonated’s Travis Boatman, who raised $8.5 million USD for his mobile gaming studio, “You want to be in the team that is making content and delivering that content directly to the customers.”

Raising Capital as a Video Game Developer

SELF FUNDING

If ever there was a time to create games, it is now. Before, you could not create a game unless you had access to extremely talented technologists. In this era, aspiring game developers can apply what Laurence Capron and Will Mitchell refer to as the “Build, Borrow or Buy” method and truly leverage technology tools that can be easily bought or borrowed, rather than having to build from scratch. Examples of these are Amazon GameLift, Unreal, and Unity.

The pool and profiles of developers increases as persons can now utilise these technologies and sit at home during (and after) the pandemic and create games.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

The story of Unity’s founders living a tremendously frugal lifestyle, working 24-hour days, running out of money and eventually having to turn to family for a 100,000 Euro loan is well known. Today, Unity is a mega- successful entity but the lessons here are “High risk, high reward” and “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

It is important to take calculated risks and when asking family and friends for either a loan or investment that you have a solid plan for repayment or their returns on investment. After all, it is family and this is a testament of their trust in you.

SERVICE MONEY

Work for hire has generally been a good way for developers to garner revenue, especially with the burgeon of the gig economy and new funding business models such as Apple Arcade.

Apple Arcade is not as easily accessible to developers. This subscription service requires that developers are selected to be a part of the program. Whilst it is good for the chosen developers and no doubt is an added income stream for them, being selected is perhaps not the easiest of tasks.

CROWDFUNDING

Crowdfunding is an attractive funding route for creators, as well as a great mechanism for market research.

Kickstarter has been a platform for successes. It raises millions annually, raising as much as $47 million in the year 2013. However, there is the illusion that these platforms automate success. This could not be further from the truth as studies suggest that crowdfunding platforms do not provide triumph for games targeted to children or free-to-play games, for example.

The platform is a tool which amplifies what would appear to be great, sellable, scalable projects with a loyal following and excitable community.

Despite (for many) not living up to the great expectations laid out for it, Shemue 3 broke records for the fastest video game project to reach the $1,000,000 USD and $2,000,000 UDS thresholds and the most crowd funded video game on Kickstarter (raising in approximately $6.4 million with more than 69,000 backers).

An example with a more positive outcome was Iron Harvest. Released on Windows on September 1st 2020, Iron Harvest raised approximately $1.5 million and has gone onto enjoy both awards and predominantly positive reviews.

GRANTS

The blog post of British and Thai composer Ninichi, “10 Awesome Sources of Funding and Grants for Your Indie Game” is a must-read for anyone looking to explore this type of funding.

Ninichi provides a great range of options. From the European programmes such as UK Games FundCreative Europe and Creative England, to IndieCade, which is based in California. Options with a greater global scope are Ancient Games (UK-based but global access), Unreal Dev Grants (anyone using UE4 can apply), and CryEngine.

VENTURE CAPITAL

“It’s always a bad time and a good time to start a game studio because it has been growing so consistently over decades that such a huge market provides good business. That being said, it is also really competitive on all the platforms so it’s much harder to bootstrap something (truly valuable).”

— Emily Greer (Double Loop)

In 2020, Double Loop, which is run by female superheroes Emily Greer and Shelby Moledina, raised $2.5 million USD in seed funding in a round led by London Venture Partners.

It is imperative that the creator asks herself critical questions. Does she want to build an entity or a product? Does she want great reviews for a niche game or does she want to create a Top 20 Grossing mobile game? Once one’s scope has been identified, the funding strategy becomes more apparent. Whilst she may self-fund or ‘friends and family’ to build a live alpha to present to angel investors or VCs, if she wants to build an entity and create a Top 20 grossing game, self-funding and ‘family and friends’ will more than likely not suffice. The best options would be Angel Investors and/or Venture Capital.

In VC, you have to have a sellable story and a proper team with expertise. A diverse team, where everyone has distinct responsibilities and can work well together. These elements bring credibility to the table for investors.

Whatever money the creator may think she needs from investors; the reality is that she will need more than that initial figure. That said, she must not arbitrarily request money for the sake of wanting it without legitimacy and reasonable foresight. The ask must typically include the operating costs at least until the next fund raise. If asking for $500,000 USD, her valuation must include a runway of 24 months and she should accordingly be planning her next fund raise to occur within 24 months.

Some of the notable VC firms dedicated to gaming are BITKRAFT VenturesBlack Sheep VenturesCAA VenturesDune VenturesGameFoundersGamerforce VenturesKonvoy VenturesLondon Venture PartnersRemagine VenturesSeventySix Capital, and of course through what we’re doing here at Mediatech Ventures.

As a newly-formed hyper casual gamer, I look forward to seeing what you create! Best of luck!

[Portfolio Feature] Tembusu Partners’s e-sports fund invests US$1M in Singapore’s RSG

[First Published in e27 – April 15, 2021]
https://e27.co/tembusu-partners-invests-us1m-into-singapore-e-sports-company-rsg-20210415/

Tembusu Partners, a Singapore-based boutique private equity investment firm, announced today its FrontSight Capital Fund has invested US$1 million in local e-sports organization RSG.

The e-sports fund’s maiden investment will be used to support RSG’s strategy to strengthen capabilities, expand the regional talent pool, and extend its market reach to better engage the gaming community and improve fan experiences.

Tembusu Partners said in a press note RSG is the first in its ten planned investments of US$1 to US$2 million each in Southeast Asia’s e-sports teams and companies that are at the “frontier of growth and innovation in the region.”

The PE firm plans to launch a second fund in the future to capitalise on the growing e-sports industry in Southeast Asia.

Launched in 2020, the FrontSight Capital Fund invests seeks to leverage the exponential growth potential of e-sports in the region, where online entertainment and play is driven by digital adoption and transformation. The fund is jointly managed by Managing Partners William Cao and Dennis Liu, and managed by Tembusu Partners.

“We launched the fund as we recognised the immense potential in Southeast Asia’s e-sports sector, which is uniquely positioned for exponential growth. This fund, which is in line with our thesis-driven approach to invest in disruptive technology and trends that drive innovation in key focus sectors including consumer services, serves as a strategic platform for international investors to tap on the growth of e-sports in the region,” noted Andy Lim, Founder and Chairman of Tembusu Partners.

“Tembusu will continue to explore similar strategic investments in the region’s e-sports sector through this fund, thereby paving the way for more to participate in this fast-growing industry,” he added.

Founded in 2017, RSG is a professional e-sports organisation operating across Southeast Asia to engage the gaming audience through e-sports teams and content creators. Its e-sports teams specialise in notable games such as Mobile Legends, PUBG, Call of Duty and Warcraft, and have participated in over 200 tournaments collectively.

Building on its presence in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, RSG is in the midst of a regional expansion into emerging markets. The organisation also plans to compete in more games and reach 150 million gaming audience in Southeast Asia by 2021.

“While the US and China currently lead the global gaming industry, the growth journey for Southeast Asia’s e-sports sector has only just begun. Across Southeast Asia, we see many young and untapped e-sports organisations that are well-positioned to expand regionally and globally,” opined Cao.

“As we scale up and diversify our offerings to other aspects of the gaming market, RSG will take a sustainable growth approach to invest in new technologies, expand our operations regionally, and groom the talent pool,” said Jayf Soh, Founder and CEO of RSG.

Southeast Asia holds the largest revenue in the global gaming market, and almost two-thirds of the gaming population in Greater Southeast Asia are engaged in e-sports. According to market research firm Newzoo, revenue from e-sports in Southeast Asia is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24 per cent from 2018 to 2023, one of the highest globally.

In addition, the region’s gaming market size is also expected to register a CAGR of 8.5 per cent over the forecast period of 2021 to 2026.

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Related Articles:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/garage/tembusu-partners-invests-us1m-in-e-sports-company-rsg

https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/singapore-esports-tembasu-rsg-frontsight-capital

https://www.techinasia.com/singaporebased-gaming-firm-bags-1m-tembusu-partners-pe-fund

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