XR Games secures £1.5m investment round led by NPIF – Maven Equity Finance
Award-winning game development studio in Leeds secures NPIF funding to invest in product development and expand its local team
NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”) and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (“NPIF”) has invested in XR Games Limited (“XR Games”), a game development studio in Leeds specialising in immersive AR and VR content. Existing investor ACT Capital Partners also followed on from their previous investment. The funding will allow the business to invest in product development and create 20 new roles in the Leeds based studio.
XR Games designs and develops Virtual Reality (“VR”) and Augmented Reality (“AR”) games for licensed IP holders and also operates as a ‘work-for-hire’ studio. The business has worked on a number of critically acclaimed games including the Angry Birds VR game that was launched alongside Sony Pictures’ Angry Birds Movie 2. The business recently launched its newest creation ‘Zombieland VR’ which was licenced by Sony Pictures, a key partner to XR Games. The business supports an impressive range of partners and customers including Facebook, Microsoft, Sony Pictures, Sony PlayStation, Unity, and others yet to be announced.
The video games industry is four times larger than the movie industry and three times larger than the music industry and the global XR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) market is forecast to reach $286b by 2025.
Prior to founding XR Games, Bobby Thandi, CEO, helped raise investment for startups, and oversaw development of digital entertainment apps, games and VR with his team of 50 staff. Previous clients included LEGO, Disney and Mattel. Bobby’s team includes non-executive director Jason McGann, a skilled creative and technician with more than 30 years’ experience of successfully leading game development studios. He has worked on notable titles in the Grand Theft Auto and Midnight Club series.
Gavin Bell, Senior Investment Manager at Maven, said,
“XR Games has achieved a number of great milestones in a short space of time and we are delighted to support the business at such an exciting stage in its growth journey. Immersive technology has huge potential in this industry and Bobby and the team’s experience, ambition and delivery in this niche has been instrumental in them developing such an impressive list of global clients and partners already. We look forward to working with the team and existing investors as they embark on a programme of rapid growth.”
Adam Schoff, Founder and CEO at ACT Capital Partners said,
“ACT Capital Partners are excited to invest alongside Maven Capital Partners and the UK government’s Future Fund. We were the first outside money into XR Games and continue to believe strongly in the incredible team led by Bobby Thandi. The future of AR/VR is extremely bright and we believe XR Games will be a major force as the sector matures.”
Bobby Thandi, Founder and CEO, XR Games said,
“We’re delighted with the investment from our new partners at Maven Capital Partners, as well as ACT Capital Partners following on from their previous investment, and continued support from Praetura Ventures. We’re already putting the investment to good use by hiring senior personnel such as a Chief Operating Officer, Creative Director, and a new Head of Production. We’re also expanding the Development, Game Design and Art teams, and we’re further developing our Sales and Marketing initiatives to expand our work-for-hire division. It’s so exciting to see the team grow and develop, and with our vacancies receiving hundreds of applicants, it’s clear that there’s a huge appetite from others wanting to join our journey. This most recent round of investment enables our recent hires and existing team to kick start our own original IP initiatives, and helps to fund further R&D into Augmented and Virtual Reality.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
For media enquiries or any questions about the investment, please contact:
|Maven Capital Partners|
|Emma Neal||0191 731 8590||[email protected]|
|Nick AndrewsJosh Travers||020 3195 3240020 3195 3240||[email protected][email protected]|
Notes to Editors
About Maven Capital Partners UK LLP www.mavencp.com
Maven Capital Partners UK LLP (Maven) is a lower-mid cap private equity house focused on the provision of growth capital and mezzanine finance to SMEs across the UK. It is one of the most active private equity fund managers in the country, managing over £415 million of assets for a variety of client funds, including Venture Capital Trusts, UK regional debt and equity funds, and Maven Investor Partners – a syndicate of institutional, family office and experienced investors.
Headquartered in Glasgow, and with ten other offices throughout the UK, Maven has nationwide coverage of the market for SME finance and is introduced to around 400 deals per year through 20 regionally based investment executives. With over 50 staff and partners, Maven executes a range of private company transactions, offers hands-on proactive portfolio management to investee companies and provides a fully integrated back-office support function to client and third-party fund managers. Since 2009 Maven has invested over £285 million in SMEs across the UK.
About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
- The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.
- The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
- The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
- The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb