How to Find Venture Capital for your Indie Game

How to Find Venture Capital for your Indie Game

The number of indie game developers is steadily on the rise, the gaming industry itself has rapidly grown over the last decade, and is likely to be a $300 Bn industry by 2025! It surpassed both music and video as a market, in terms of growth, and naturally, this rise was supported by significant attention from venture capital (VC) investors as well.

VCs are Paying Attention

While historically the gaming sector has had to either self-fund or scrap together seed money from various corporate development initiatives, there is growing interest among traditional venture funds to see games as a growth vehicle. Some of the popular funds that are getting into gaming recently include:

…and many more. Even with the pandemic playing out in full force, by Mid 2020 (Q2), VC investments in gaming had seen figures as high as the entirety of 2019, coming in at well over $700m.

This interest in gaming is not just reserved for North America and Europe. Interest in gaming has soared massively in India and other developing markets where there’s been a surge of broadband internet consumption due to 4G and now 5G adoption.

Geo-specific venture firms are now popping up dedicated to gaming, firms like Lumikai based in New Delhi. With the Indian game market featuring among the five biggest gaming markets in the world, there is global attention pouring in from the capital markets.

According to Venture Beyond, the following is a list of high-profile financing rounds in the game industry. It’s not just games getting the dollars, but everything related to games as well: tools, tech, and distribution platforms.

  • Statespace: May 2020 $15m Series A led by Khosla Ventures
  • Guilded: April 2020 $7m Series A led by Matrix Partners
  • Superplus Games: April 2020 $5m Seed led by Makers Fund
  • Robin Games: March 2020 $7m Seed led by London Venture Partners
  • Genvid: March 2020 $33m Series B led by Huya
  • FanAI: November 2019 $8m Series A led by Marubeni
  • VENN: September 2019 $17m Seed led by Bitkraft Esports Ventures and Eldridge Industries
  • Polystream: April 2019 $12m Series A led by Intel Capital

What types of games are being funded?

The best way to know the types of games getting funding is to look at the decisions of the people making the deals.

Jack Tretton, who quit Sony and started his own venture capital fund – Interactive Gaming Ventures – has already invested in 10 deals in the last couple of years. Most of these are PC game developers, while only one of them is making mobile games.

Henric Suuronen, Partner at Play Ventures, believes that we’ve just entered the golden age of mobile gaming and is primed to invest in over 30 mobile game development companies.

David Gardner, Partner at London Venture Partners, feels that PC games are a safe bet to make at this point. Once a PC game really takes off, it’s easy to diversify the same investment in a different field, such as on console or mobile.

Samuli Syvähuoko, Partner at Sisu Game Ventures, thinks the entire field of gaming is full of excitement and opportunity – this is the reason why Sisu Game Ventures has invested in everything from hyper-casual and instant messenger-based games to mobile, PC, as well as AR!

Jay Chi, Partner at Makers Fund, is betting on ‘Gaming as Media.’ Chi’s reasoning is that when games are consumed as media in large, hyperconnected online worlds, it allows for more immersive gameplay.

It’s a great time to be a game dev!

Today, there is no shortage of platforms on which people play games. With the rise of on-demand game streaming platforms such as Google Stadia & Amazon Luna, the gaming market is further poised to grow even more! As the number of platforms grows, so will the demand for content. Players need games, and game makers need funding. Venture Capital funds are increasingly looking for ways to ride the wave of the massively growing game industry. Try reaching out to a few on this list, pitch your game, showcase your metrics, and you might be their next press release.

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