TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: Kleiner Perkins closes USD$700m (£542m) fund; Veritas raises USD$10m (£7.7m); and Improbable operating losses hit £63.7m.
Kleiner Perkins closes USD$700m (£542m) fund
Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins has closed its largest fund to-date, KP 19, which is worth USD$700m (£542m). The fund will largely mirror that of its predecessor KP 18, in that it will support seed- and Series A-stage startups operating in the consumer, enterprise, fin-tech and healthcare sectors.
Kleiner Perkins’ previous activity in the video games industry includes participation in funding rounds supporting Epic Games (USD$1.3bn/£1.0bn venture round); game challenge network Azarus (USD$1.8m/£1.4m seed); mobile marketing platform Leanplum (USD$29m/£22m series C); and streaming app Mobcrush (USD$11m/£8.5m seed). The VC firm has also announced the promotion of Annie Case, Monica Desai Weiss, and Josh Coyne, to principal investors.
A statement announcing the fund reads, “It’s more of the same. It’s the same team, with the same strategy, investing in the same sectors at the earliest stages. Our mission remains the same — to be the first call for founders who want to change the world and make history. Our investment focus hasn’t changed. The way we live and the way we work are intimately intertwined and we have an opportunity to improve both”
Veritas raises USD$10m (£7.7m)
Esports content and consulting firm Veritas Entertainment has raised USD$10m (£7.7m) in funding, led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures and supported by additional angel investors, which it has used to support the opening of a 26,000 sq ft esports and gaming facility in its home market of Berlin. The venue, dubbed LVL, is due to open on March 26th and is expected to host 130 live events per year, generating 250,000 visitors according to company estimates. LVL will also house the G2 Esports team, offering dedicated practice areas and “community driven locations” for fan interaction.
In a statement, Veritas Entertainment co-founder Dorian Gorr wrote, “We created LVL to fill a gap that currently exists in the landscape of physical gaming and esports venues. The esports ecosystem currently has large arenas and glorified internet cafés with a few PCs in them, but not a permanent facility where premium events can be hosted while also serving as a place to socialise with friends. It’s not only a facility for professional teams to practice, but it’s a hub for entertainment, collaboration, and connection.
Improbable operating losses hit £63.7m
Simulation software distributor Improbable Worlds Ltd. saw its operating losses rise by 65.4% over the year ending 31st May 2019 to £63.7m, while revenue only reached £1.2m, despite doubling from 2018 turnover. The spiralling costs for the London-based firm have been attributed to a number of factors, including a spike in research and development activity (up 62% to £17.4m) and expansion of its Edmonton, London, and Virgina offices, which led to an increase of 62% in administrative expenses to £47.6m.
Despite being funded to the tune of USD$604.1m (£467.9m), including investment of USD$500m (£387m) from SoftBank in a 2017 round, only two titles currently run using Improbable’s SpatialOS software, namely Scavengers (Midwinter Entertainment) and Nostos (NetEase). Three previous MMO titles built for the platform, Worlds Adrift (Bossa Studios), Lazarus (Spilt Milk Studios), and Mavericks: Proving Grounds (Automaton Games – now defunct) were shuttered in 2019. As previously reported in TheGamingEconomy, last year Improbable went on to acquire the aforementioned Midwinter Entertainment, along with multiplayer services provider The Multiplayer Games, and managed hosting company Zeuz. Improbable also offered to hire staff from Automaton, after it withdrew funding for the developer, causing it to enter into administration.
In the financial statements posted on Companies House, Improbable executives state, “These results do not reflect major changes to the company which took place in the nine months since these accounts were closed. This means that Improbable in March 2020 is a very different company[…] We remain confident that we have the resources to deliver on our strategy.”