XR Games secures £5.9m ($7m) investment to supercharge growth
Funding round led by existing investors act media ventures, Praetura Ventures and Maven
Deal will enable Leeds-based VR games developer to move to a larger studio in the city centre and grow its team
XR Games has grown rapidly after the success of hit VR game 'Zombieland: Headshot Fever'
Leeds-based independent games studio and virtual reality (VR) developer XR Games has secured £5.9m ($7m) investment, in a round led by existing investors act media ventures, Praetura Ventures and Maven.
This investment will support XR Games’ expansion as it moves to a brand-new studio in the centre of Leeds later this year. It will enable the business to grow its team as it invests in intellectual property (IP), the development of new games, and research into VR and augmented reality (AR) technologies, following the success of its Zombieland: Headshot Fever launch in 2021.
XR Games initially raised £1m in a round led by act media ventures (formerly known as ACT Capital Partners), and subsequently raised £1.5m in a round led by Praetura Ventures alongside act media ventures in 2019. XR Games raised a further £1.5m in 2021 as part of an investment round led by Maven utilising both Maven managed VCT Funds and NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, (“Maven”) which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (“NPIF”), with backing from act media ventures (formerly known as ACT Capital Partners).
In less than a year, XR Games has tripled its headcount to employ more than 85 people and continues to grow. In March, XR Games acquired specialist VR game studio Fierce Kaiju to expand its games portfolio and scale its teams. The expansion of XR Games’ team has allowed the company to take on larger projects, and revenues at the business grew tenfold last year.
XR Games works with major partners and internationally-renowned brands, including Sony Pictures VR and Rovio Entertainment, to create games for the rapidly-growing VR and AR market. The global industry saw sales of $21.8bn last year and is forecasted to grow to $84bn in 2028.
Bobby Thandi, XR Games Founder and CEO, said: “We are extremely proud of the fantastic work and success the team at XR Games continues to achieve.
“This latest investment will enable XR Games to continue to bring new innovations to the AR/VR sector over the next few years. Our new Leeds studio will allow us to continue to grow our team, and the number of projects we’re working on. And with the hundreds of applications we are receiving for each job vacancy, it’s clear there’s a growing appetite for this space. We’ll continue to push XR Games to the forefront of the new virtual reality revolution we are seeing in the creative industries.”
Mark Lyons, director of investments at Praetura Ventures, said: “At Praetura Ventures, we pride ourselves on backing exceptional founders by providing our ‘more than money’ support to help them grow the best business they can.
XR Games is a stellar example of a northern business turning heads on a global stage. Since our first investment in 2019, it’s so rewarding to see the team’s continuous expansion in terms of both staff and development on their projects.”
Adam Schoff, CEO and founder of act media ventures, commented: “As a very early investor in XR Games, we have been witness to the amazing growth of the company.
We are excited to participate in this latest investment round and look forward to the exciting journey ahead.”
Gavin Bell, investment director at Maven, said: “The team at XR Games has performed exceptionally since our original investment last year.
It’s great to see them expand their headquarters in the North and to continue to add talented people to the team. We’re very excited for what the future holds for XR Games.”
XR Games was advised by Park Place Corporate finance with legal advice provided by Lewis Silkin, Gateley Legal and TLT.
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.
XR Games Website: http://www.xrgames.io
XR Games Twitter: https://twitter.com/xrgamesvr
XR Games LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/xrgames/
XR Games Press Kit: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/19wZlaeJPS4jgOCRPKB2pXwlQCYP 2SVcC?usp=sharing
Mat Murray, Head of Marketing, XR Games: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Maven Capital Partners UK LLP
Maven is a leading private equity house focused on the provision of flexible funding for high growth businesses, and one of the most active investors in smaller companies in the UK.
Headquartered in Glasgow, and with offices throughout the UK, Maven has over 90 investment and support professionals providing a truly nationwide coverage. Maven has over £740 million funds under management and ready to invest, and manages assets for a variety of client funds, including Venture Capital Trusts, MBO Fund, UK regional fund mandates, and Maven Investor Partners, a syndicate of institutional, family office and experienced investors.
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:
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
About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK government’s 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. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
The British Business Bank’s core programmes support nearly £8bn of finance to almost 94,800 smaller businesses. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has also launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering almost £73bn of finance to around 1.6m businesses.
As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded, and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information, and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.
British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at www.british-business-bank.co.uk.