TIGA Guide to Investment For London Game Start-ups
Accelerating and Financing
London’s Game Sector Start-ups.
John Spindler CEO of Capital
A start-up is not a Game!
“ A start-up is an
organisation in search of a
repeatable and scalable
business model” – Eric
Ries- Author of the Lean
Investable start-ups are…different
• Ambitious: want to be
worth £20M+ minimum
in 3 years.
• “Game Changing”
• Build/leverage new
• Acquire and leverage as
many “Unfair Advantages
as possible”- team, key
partners, resources etc
• Move very FAST
To get investment need to change
From Gun for Hire needs to
..To Products built at “own risk”
Tech Start- Up Funding Road
Hackathons/ Hatcheries/ Meet-ups.
SEIS - Business Angels
Crowdfunding i.e. Kickstarter
Early Stage VC’s
round –Build &
Round (Angels +
- Prove Business
model & acquire
metrics to prove
Series A Round
(Angels, VC’s &
– Go for scale, build
(Average 7 years
and after many
rounds) – Trade
Sale or IPO
How Start-Up Funding Works ?Why 100% of “Nothing” is worth Less than 10% of something big
“ An Investable Start-up Needs..
• Team, Tech & resources
that is FIT for the task of
creating an awesome
• Smart Ass Team
• Product that is the best
solution FIT for the target
• Disrupting a Big Ass
• with a Kick Ass Product
( Jeff Clavier 3 Ass-es rule)
• Business Model that is FIT
to be scaled.
+ Capital Efficient to Scale.
Advance in Stages…
..using the Lean Start-up Method
Building a Smart Ass Team
• Hipster (Designer)
• Hacker (Developer)
• Hustler (Distributor)
Building a Kick Ass Product
...create a habit...
Building a Kick Ass Product
Good Product design..
…makes the Funnel Conversion
Minimum Viable Product (MVP):
Problem – Solution FIT
Sources of Start-up Help for
Capital Enterprise; www.capitalenterprise.org
Meet-up - http://www.meetup.com
Mobile Academy- http://themobileacademy.org.uk/
Makers Academy- http://www.makersacademy.com/
Skills Matter- http://skillsmatter.com/
Start- up Britain - http://www.startupbritain.org
British Library- www.bl.uk/bipc
Google Campus- http://www.campuslondon.com
General Assembly- https://generalassemb.ly/locations/london
Innovation Warehouse- http://www.theiw.org
IC Tomorrow - https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/ictomorrow
UCL Decide- https://www.ucl.ac.uk/decide
Start-up Weekend- London- http://london.startupweekend.org/
Launch 48- http://launch48.com/
Mobile Collective http://mobilecollective.wordpress.com
3 Beards- http://www.3-beards.com/
Tech Hub- http://www.techhub.com/events/
Capital List Get Together- http://www.capitallistblog.co/our-monthly-monday-get-together/
Proof of Concept?
1. Does it work?
2. Does anyone care?
Funding Games Development & Beta Testing
Grants & Awards General
Technology Strategy Board ( R&D Funding) - http://www.innovateuk.org http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/grant-for-rd-single-business.ashx
Knowledge Transfer Networks- www.innovateuk.org
Abertay Prototype Fund - http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/
Skillset - http://www.creativeskillset.org/games/
IC Tomorrow- https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/ictomorrow
London European Enterprise Network- http://www.een-london.co.uk
E Funding for SME R&D - http://www.eurostars-eureka.eu/what.do
EU Funding for R&D collaborations: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/calls
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships funding support- http://www.ktponline.org.uk/ktp-what-will-it-costmy-business
J4B- Portal for grant finding http://www.j4b.co.uk
EU Grant to Develop Video Games
Grant to Develop Video Games
This brand new scheme aims to help independent, European companies to develop either a video game concept or project that has the potential to
circulate within the European Union and beyond.
The total budget for the scheme in 2014 is estimated at €2.5 million. The non-repayable grants available depend on the type of support required for
Between €10,000 - €50,000 for concept development (up to a playable demo)
Between €10,000 - €150,000 for project development (up to a playable prototype – usually an alpha or beta version of the game)
The grant requested cannot exceed 50% of your total development budget. Support for concept development and project development cannot be
combined for the same video game.
Who can apply?
Applicant companies must:
Be established in one of the 33 countries participating in the MEDIA Sub-programme and be majority owned by nationals from those countries.
Own the majority of the rights to the project for which support is being sought.
Have produced a previous commercial video game that has been published since 1 January 2011.
Which projects are eligible?
Digital video games for any platform that are intended for commercial exploitation. The scheme aims to support projects with:
substantial interactivity and a narrative component (i.e. the ability to tell a story)
a high level of originality, innovation and creative value, which promote cultural diversity and enhance Europe's cultural identity and heritage
compared to existing mainstream works
a high level of commercial ambition and extensive cross-border potential able to reach European and international markets.
Deadline is 28th March and information on how to apply can be found at http://www.mediadeskuk.eu/funding/media-sub-programme/producersupport/development-video-games/#tab-3
EU Grants for building IT prototypes.
EU Grants for building IT prototypes.
Call for Proposals: 01/03/2014
Support is available for a large number of early stage high risk SMEs in the ICT sector that has the ability to
produce innovative products or services that will disrupt, change, or even replace existing markets.
Implemented through the SME instrument, the Open Disruptive Innovation (ODI) Scheme provides support for
small businesses that are proposing innovative ICT products or services that apply a new set of rules and have the
potential to disrupt existing markets.
The SME Instrument works in three separate but complementary phases. This call refers to the deadlines for Phase
1, which covers the assessment of technical feasibility and market potential of new ideas. The project will be
supported through a lump sum of 50 000 EUR and the typical duration should be 6 months.
Objectives of the ODI scheme
Nurture promising innovative and disruptive ideas
Support prototyping, validation, and demonstration in real world conditions
Help with commercialisation and market uptake
Deadlines for application
First round: 18/06/2014 at 17:00pm (CET)
Second round: 24/09/14 at 17:00pm (CET)
Third round: 17/12/14 at 17:00pm (CET)
Access to the call
Access to the call is available through the Participant Portal on the Horizon 2020 website
Need less than £20K to get to Build and test MVP?
Need Less than
£10K to Launch a
Write a simple
Business Plan & 12
Sources of Grants- www.j4b.co.uk
Competition funding £1000 issued to 10+ businesses per month- http://www.shell-livewire.org
Princes Trust http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/enterprise_programme.aspx
£1000- £20,000 Enterprise Loans for Under 25’s- www.startuploanslondon.co.uk or www.startuploans.com
New Enterprise Allowance Scheme – Check who delivers the scheme in London by e-mailing Capital Enterprise.
Community Development Finance Associations- http://www.cdfa.org.uk - Also check out North London Community Finance
ELSBC Access to Finance – Business Plan support for those looking to raise up to £10K
Soft loans for Creative Businesses- http://www.creativeindustryfinance.org.uk/
Crowd funding PlatformsReward based Crowdfunding platforms- will help you
to raise funding to build a proto-type and market
test a great idea or product.- Great for pre-selling
cool tech hardware.
Programme Partners and CoInvestors in London
Connections to Investors
Accelerators help by ..
Offering early Stage
• Fellow Community of
entrepreneurs & supporters
• Runway support & funding
(£15-£100K at standardised investment terms. )
( 3-6 months on average)
• Physical Space & Facilities
• Mentors ( 1st Industry- 2nd
• Help to Rapid Field Trail with
users & customers.
• Demo days- Introductions to
…so that they can test..
• Product- Assess Functional use/
improve design & UX
• Market Reaction- interest/
usage/revenue - AARRR
• Revenue/ profit Potentialpricing, market timing, LTV/CCA
• Business Model- “To Pivot or Not
• Investor reaction- interest and
• Team- ability to work together and deliver.
Assemble Team/ Build
Beta Test- Launch into
Series A (Small)
Proof of Market &
Scale - Build out Team/
Technology and Expand
Own Money/ FFF/
Seed VC's/ Angel
Syndicates/ CoInvestment Funds/
Venture Firms/ Family
SEIS is…… “a game changer”?
Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme-SEIS is a tax break launched in 2012 for UK tax
payers to encourage them to buy shares in start-up companies registered in the UK
SEIS investors can input £100,000 in a single tax year rising to a maximum £150,000 over two
or more tax years in to a single company
Investors cannot control the company receiving their capital
Investors pick up 50% tax relief in the tax year the investment is made, regardless of their
In the 2013-14 tax year, tax payers can roll 50% of a chargeable gain in the tax year in to a
SEIS with a full capital gains tax exemption (another 14%)
The business must be a start-up company -registered in the UK within 2 years of claim.
The company must not employ more than 25 workers.
The company must have assets of less than £200,000.
The company has to trade in an approved sector – generally not in finance or investment, for
example, a property company raise capital as a SEIS.
Think like an Angel!
Why Do Angels Invest?
Where to find them?
Key to being s Successful Business
• Good Reputation – “Track
• Great Source – “Having good
• Good Selection – “ Sticking
to what you know”
• Adding Value- “ Offering more
than money to increase the chance of
• Ability to Follow on
Successes/ Walk Away
• Getting Value – “Getting a
Good deal at all stages”
Capital List –
The Minimum Viable Introducer
“ Showcasing and connecting
Entrepreneurs to champions and
Send a slide deck and get introduced
Ten slides. Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint
presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend
more than ten concepts in a meeting—and business angels are very
normal. If you must use more than ten slides to explain your
business, you probably don’t have a business. The ten topics that an
investors cares about are:
1. Summary and call to action/ what do you want?
3. Your solution
4. Business model
5. Underlying magic/technology
6. Marketing and sales
9. Projections and milestones
Status and timeline
Send to : email@example.com
7 Types of Early Stage Investors in
Tax Relieve Seeking SEIS/EIS Funds
Government Backed ECF’s
Traditional Angel Syndicates
Strategic Investors ( Corporate Venture)
Top SEIS Funding Syndicates
Top Traditional Angel Syndicates
1. London Business Angels:
Start-up Funding Clubhttp://www.startupfundingcl
Ascot SEIS –
2. E100 (LBS)
3. Oxford Angels:
5. Envestors- www.envestors.co.uk
6. Angels Den- www.angelsden.com
Super Seed Investors
Playfair Capital- http://playfaircapital.com
Angel Pad http://angellab.co.uk/
Kima Ventures- http://www.kimaventures.com
Boundary Capital - www.boundarycapital.com
Venerex ( Fashion Tech- see Capital List)
Jam Jar Investments- http://jamjarinvestments.com
No 1 Seed - www.number1seed.co.uk
Warner Yard Associates - http://www.warneryard.com/
Angel List – www.angel.co
Active VC’s in London.
Accel Partners: Stage agnostic, see their portfolio here.
Profounders: Early and mid-stage, see their portfolio here.
Balderton- Stage Agnostic- See there portfolio here
Amadeus Capital: Early and mid-stage- just launched new
Index Ventures: Stage agnostic, see their portfolio here.
Forward Group- Early stage investor.
Piton Capital: Early and mid-stage specialize in market places.
DN Capital : Early and mid-stage, see their portfolio here
DFJ Esprit: Early to mid-stage, see their portfolio here.
Spark Ventures : Stage Agnostic- See there portfolio here
M8 Capital : Mobile Specialists, see their portfolio here
Wellington Partners: Stage Agnostic, see there portfolio here
Octopus Ventures: Early to mid-stage, see their portfolio here.
ECF’s/ Public funded.
Notion Capital – SAAS and Cloud specialist- See portfolio here
Passion Capital: Early Stage, see their portfolio here.
Episode1: Early Stage Software Companies
Arts Alliance: Minimum investment £500K in Media related
tech- see portfolio here
Longwall – Oxford Based – Science backed Start-ups focus
EC1 Capital: Early stage, see their portfolio here
Connect Ventures- Early stage and very cool.
Hoxton Ventures – New and focus on seed with next mobe to
MMC Ventures - Series A Fund- Co-Investment fund with Mayor of London
Social/ Tech for Good
NESTA - www.nesta.org.uk/investments
Unltd – www.ubltd.org.uk
Big Society Capital- http://www.bigsocietycapital.com
Sources of Social Finance- http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/finding-the-right-investment
Bridges Venture Fund http://www.bridgesventures.com/social-entrepreneurs-fund
Big Issue Investment- http://www.bigissueinvest.com
Social Finance- http://www.socialfinance.org.uk
Social Investment Fund- http://www.thesocialinvestmentbusiness.org
Stargate Capital- Trapezia- http://www.stargatecapital.co.uk/trapezia_1.aspx
FSE- Incito- http://thefsegroup.com/investors/business-angels/incito-ventures/
Aspire Fund - http://www.capitalforenterprise.gov.uk/files/Aspire%20Information%20Leaflet%20(v%202)%20Flyer%20brochure.pdf
Bridges Sustainable Fund- http://www.bridgesventures.com/sustainable-growth-funds
Ingenious Media- Cleantech Fund http://www.ingeniousmedia.co.uk/investments/investmentopportunities/clean-energy
Carbon Trust- http://www.carbontrust.com/about-us/our-investments
Low Carbon Accelerator- http://www.lowcarbonaccelerator.com
CT Investment Partners- http://www.ctip.co.uk
Wellington Partners- http://www.wellington-partners.com/wp/index.html
UK Investment State of Play 2013
Deals Under £0.5M
Deals Over £0.5m
• SEIS Deals £5-6m per month
- 82 Deals - £72K Average
• EIS & SEIS - £600M in New
Companies in 2012-13.
- Estimated 1,116 New
Courtesy of Stuart McKnight at
London Venture Partners - http://www.londonvp.com/
DN Capital - http://dncapital.com/
Initial Capital - http://www.initialcapital.com
White Star Capital - http://whitestarvc.com/
Playfair Capital - http://playfaircapital.com
Connect Ventures- http://connectventures.co.uk
Nokia Growth Partnershttp://www.nokiagrowthpartners.com/
If you want an introduction then
send a slide deck