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Play Ventures - Demystifying Fundraising


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What is a VC? What do they do? What do they look for? Get a crash course on VCs and learn how you can maximise your chances of getting funded, before you even have your first pitch meeting.

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Play Ventures - Demystifying Fundraising

  1. 1. D E M Y S T I F I N G F U N D R A I S I N G : 5 S T E P S T O P I T C H I N G S U C C E S S
  2. 2. PHYLICIA KOH & PLAY VENTURES ‣ Over 8 years experience in growth, PR in startups and at the Singapore Economic Development Board ‣ Play Ventures is an early stage gaming VC fund ‣ Based in Singapore and Helsinki, and invest globally ‣ Invest in pre-seed, seed stage F2P game studios and services
  3. 3. PLAY VENTURES FUND I PORTFOLIO Play Ventures has invested in 23 companies to-date
  4. 4. #1 WHAT EVEN IS A VC What do VCs do? What do they look for?
  5. 5. VC 101 ‣ Could have operational experience ‣ Or come from an investment background ‣ Have bosses too Your startup Invest capital into startups Because we told our investors we’d get them >3X returns Get money from investors Investors VC Own a % of your startup, which they hope generate massive returns
  7. 7. BUT THERE’S THE POWER LAW 1 2 20 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NO. OF COMPANIES Credit: Jyri Engeström (@jyri) RETURNS 150X 100X 50X ▸ 97% of profits come from < 10 companies ▸ So VCs need ”Fund Returners” that give them > 100X to make up for poor performers
  8. 8. #2 IS VC FOR YOU? What are alternative funding options?
  9. 9. EXTERNAL FUNDING + Large amounts of capital + Help with connections, growth + Helps you scale quickly + Help with future financing rounds - Own a % of your company - Managing investors and your board takes energy and time V C + Connections, could form a collective + Fewer due diligence hoops - Own a % of your company - Smaller cheques - Follow-on financing less certain - May or may not have relevant expertise - If you raise from multiple angels, that can take up more energy, time A N G E L S
  10. 10. Pitch Checklist for Seed PitchRAISE VC FUNDING IF YOU HAVE… ▸ Global Ambition to build a $100M+ company ▸ Drive, vision and execution to be the #1 company and leader in your category ▸ Growth-first mindset ▸ The ability to hire the best people ▸ Tolerance for risk & uncertainty ▸ The will to change the world
  11. 11. Pitch Checklist for Seed PitchYOU SHOULD NOT RAISE VC FUNDING TO… ▸Just because “everyone is doing it” ▸Bragging rights ▸To finance just a game, a project ▸“To complete a prototype” ▸If you can’t deal with selling control of your company
  12. 12. PROJECT FINANCING + Individual game/project funding + Minimum guarantee provides security for the team for a period + Expertise and muscle in user acquisition, game development, etc. - Not all deals are favourable for developers w.r.t revenue share, platform exclusivity P U B L I S H E R O R P L A T F O R M + Some don’t need to be repaid + More public funding available for gaming now globally - Need patience for paperwork (now and in the future) - Some might have strings attached and restrictions P U B L I C + Retain ownership + Help build your player base even before development/launch - Doing a good crowdfunding campaign takes time and effort - Public failure might make other funding options more difficult C R O W D F U N D I N G
  13. 13. #3 PREP YOUR PITCH What do you need to have in place?
  14. 14. WHAT YOU NEED ▸ VCs look at THOUSANDS of funding applications every year ▸ A poor cold email will put you at the back of the queue ▸ Personalise, show why your company hits their sweet spot ▸ Have a one-paragraph elevator pitch others can use for warm intros ▸ Must-have for fundraising ▸ Not a game design document ▸ Have two versions – for pitch presentations, for reading ▸ Check out our Pitch Perfect Guide for more details ( P I T C H E M A I L P I T C H D E C K P R A C T I C E ▸ Start by asking how they feel about your company ▸ Hard to pitch without visual feedback (facial expression, body language) ▸ Arrange to have a co-founder share screen so you see the VC ▸ Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
  15. 15. #4 REMEMBER: NOT ALL VCS ARE THE SAME Tailor and prioritise
  16. 16. GAMING VC FUNDS EARLY LATER ▸ How early? ▸ Pre-product? ▸ Pre-revenue? ▸ Pre-incorporation? ▸ Series A onwards ▸ Metrics ▸ What traction must you show?
  18. 18. WHAT DOES PLAY VENTURES LOOK FOR? Amazing Team Social Product Free 2 Play Big Ambitions
  20. 20. #5 FOUNDER-VC FIT Ask questions!
  21. 21. Pitch Checklist for Seed Pitch Founder-VC Fit ▸This relationship will last for years ▸Ask about their value-add ▸Before taking investment, ask for references from their portfolio founders
  22. 22. G E T T H I S D E C K A T C O N N E C T W I T H M E @ppphyl