British investment firm Hiro Capital has launched a €100 million ($110 million USD) venture capital fund to help back future United Kingdom and European Union companies in the video games, esports, and digital sports markets. With a team that boasts over 100 years of collective experience in these areas, the firm will “accelerate the growth of about 20 companies.”

Hiro Capital plans to invest at the post-seed stage, Series A, and Series B rounds, with a focus on technology applications that include cloud, mobile, streaming, big data, AI, wearables, and augmented and virtual reality. Hiro will also work with its entrepreneurs during early-stage planning, product development, strategy, global expansion, and exit timing to help them scale.

Hiro aims to overcome capital gap

The venture capital firm is led by founders that have a wealth of entrepreneurial background and experience, which will allow them to focus on all three fast-growing sectors of Games, Sports, and Esports. This includes managing partner Luke Alvarez who was formerly co-founding CEO and president of Inspired Entertainment, a Nasdaq-listed mobile games, and virtual sports technology company, along with being a co-founding non-executive of The Cloud Network, the largest public access Wi-Fi operator in the EU.

Partner Ian Livingstone is the co-founder of Games Workshop and former chairman of Eidos plc, which is most well known for the game Tomb Raider. Others include Partner Cherry Freeman, non-executive Investment Director Simon Cornwell, Esports Venture Director Spike Laurie, DACH & Sports Venture Director Thomas Martens, and Technology Venture Director Alistair Hopkins.

“Fifteen years ago, the video games sector was niche, esports was underground and digital sports tracking was only available to elite athletes. Now there are three billion gamers globally, 600 million game stream fans, and over 500 million sports monitoring smart watches and trackers,” Hiro Capital managing partner Luke Alvarez said in a statement.  “Today’s consumers play games, watch streams and post sports stats every day and rarely watch terrestrial TV. 2018/2019 have been breakthrough years for these sectors – from record-breaking streaming events in Fortnite and the real FIFA World Cup, to the recent announcements of Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, the Apple Watch 5, Facebook Horizon and Alibaba+Intel’s AR/VR Athlete tracking for the Tokyo Olympics.”

Livingstone, who played a part in building and investing in game companies worth billions of dollars, said, “..I have witnessed first-hand the frustration of battling the post-seed Capital Gap. Through investing and nurturing the right talent in Europe and the UK, our goal is to generate great returns for our investors and bring much-needed capital to the industry.”

Ethan Chen

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