Today Hiro Capital, a VC focused on backing innovators in video games, the metaverse, e-sports and digital fitness, has announced leading funding rounds totalling around €12.3 million into two European-based, and one US-based, game studios.
On the European side, the two startups are Stockholm/Berlin-based Snowprint and Belgian startup Happy Volcano, with the US-based startup being Double Loop Games in San Francisco. The two European startups together took around €6.8 million of the funding, with Happy Volcano announcing their portion to be around €1.8 million, and Snowpring studios securing around €5 million of the share.
Ian Livingstone, co-founding partner at Hiro Capital, said, “We are excited to begin 2021 by announcing Hiro’s investment in three amazing games studios, Snowprint, Double Loop and Happy Volcano. Each studio has demonstrated innovation and expertise in developing fun to play games which resonate with today’s audiences. I’m especially pleased that one of the studios came through our first Dark Star event for emerging indies looking to scale their businesses. If only venture capital had been interested in the games sector back in the 1970s, I might not have had to sleep in a van during the early days of Games Workshop!”
The first European startup receiving investment is Snowprint Studios. It was founded in 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden and has since grown with a second studio in Berlin. The team is led by industry veterans Alexander Ekvall and Patrik Lindegren, each formerly of King, John Hargelid, formerly of Paradox Interactive, and Wilhelm Osterberg, formerly of Wooga. Snowprint Studios operates their debut mobile title Legend of Solgard and is now also working on three new mobile projects, including Rivengard, a turn-based tactics game that launched globally on 21st January 2021, as well as an undisclosed AAA mobile IP coming soon out of its Berlin studio.
“We had heard great things about Hiro and have been impressed by the entire team from our very first interactions,” said founder Alexander Ekvall. “The team has a deep understanding of building successful games companies and this is reflected in the support they provide. The backing from Hiro means we are better equipped than ever to execute on our mission to deliver genre-defining experiences.”
The second European investment is Happy Volcano, a new studio from Belgium, who state that their investment totalled around €1.8 million. The startup secured funding after attending Hiro Capital’s Dark Star VC investment summit for early stage Games studios. Last year, Happy Volcano released the critically acclaimed narrative exploration game The Almost Gone and are currently working on a new soon-to-launch cross-platform game You Suck at Parking.
“Teaming up with Hiro Capital means we can take the next step on our journey to become a leading creative game studio,” commented Jeroen Janssen, Founder and CEO at Happy Volcano. “Attending the Dark Star event in 2020 made it clear to us that Hiro brings a lot of value besides just funding. Knowing that an industry legend like Ian Livingstone is backing your vision gives the entire team confidence that we are on the right path.”
“The addition of these three exciting Games studios brings our total investments to 11, with more deals to be announced soon,” said Cherry Freeman, co-founding Partner at Hiro Capital. “At Hiro, our mission is to find talented, ambitious teams and help them grow by bringing expertise and capital. We invest in the innovators of the future, and I couldn’t think of a better start to 2021 than these three great studios.”
Hiro Capital is looking for more ambitious gaming entrepreneurs and will be launching the next Dark Star event for Games Studios in March 2021. Dark Star 2.0 will give Game studios looking for investment the chance to hear from Hiro Capital’s partners and portfolio entrepreneurs about how and why to position themselves for venture funding.