NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has invested in 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.”
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