Three self-professed gamers and veteran entrepreneurs have come together to form a brand new VC firm focused on games, e-sports, and digital sports in Europe and the UK. Hiro Capital is its name, and today it launches a €100 million fund from its bases in London and Luxembourg. The founding team consists of Ian Livingstone CBE, co-founder of Games Workshop; Luke Alvarez, co-founder of Inspired Entertainment; and Cherry Freeman, co-founder of LoveCrafts.
The global gaming, e-sports, and digital sports sectors total around $200 billion globally. According to a statement from the new VC, Europe has the potential to be world-leading force in the sector, except that ventures here are woefully underfunded.
Last year, Europe produced 123 PC and console games, compared to Asia’s 103 and the US’ 78. Half of the top 30 mobile games worldwide are developed in the UK or Europe. In the UK alone, there are 2,500 games studios. Only 2 percent of these studios receive any form of VC money.
Hiro Capital wants to infuse these sectors and studios with the attention and funding they deserve.
“Through investing and nurturing the right talent in Europe and the UK, our goal is to generate great returns for our investors and bring much-needed capital to the industry. We are focused on innovative games and games technologies. We’re gamers at heart and strongly believe in the positive power of play culturally, socially and economically,” said Ian Livingstone, Partner.
The firm will target the post-seed funding gap, focusing on Series A and Series B investments in about 20 companies. Hiro will also look for sector-specific applications of cloud, mobile, streaming, big data, AI, wearables, AR and VR technologies.
Commenting on the unique potential ahead, Cherry Freeman said: “The scaling opportunities combined with the capital efficiency in the games and sports technology sectors make it a uniquely exciting arena. You can start from nothing and end up on a billion handsets in a year. If you’ve got an idea, you can talk to the entire planet. There are very few sectors which are totally global, totally consumer facing and instantly scalable and our new fund will be looking to tap into this potential to discover the next-generation of trailblazers. The Hiro team have founded games, sports and tech startups worth over $5 billion between us. We support our entrepreneurs on their heroic journeys from startups to global stars.”