Published on: 09/03/2022
Griffin Gaming Partners raises $750M for blockchain games
One of the world’s largest gaming-focused venture funds Griffin Gaming Partners has announced that they raised $750 million to develop Web3 and blockchain video games. The fund was headed by founders Peter Levin, Phil Sanderson, and Nick Tuosto. It focused on gaming and its related markets including esports, gaming infrastructure, tools, social gaming platforms, streaming, and the cloud.
“[Web 3] is one of our central theses from a macro perspective within games,” Tuosto said. “It’s our view that the enablement of digital asset ownership within games may be the single most important technological unlock in the history of games.”
This was the company’s second nine-figure fund. It was far larger than the first fund which was worth $235 million, spread to 13 companies with additional seed-round support for eight more. The first fund was raised in 2020. The 13 companies operate in the gaming and gaming-adjacent sectors. These included Discord, AppLovin, Superteam, Forte and Overwolf. The new fund is expected to bring more than $1 billion in gaming-focused assets under management for the venture capitalist.
‘Lines have blurred across gaming, media, sport and social connectivity’
“We’re not a spray-and-pray fund,” said Levin. “We’re not going to have 70 companies in the portfolio at any given time. We’re going to continue to take that disciplined approach.”
Levin, Sanderson, and Tuosto founded Griffin Gaming Partners in 2019. Boutique merger-and-acquisition firm LionTree, where Tuosto serves as managing director, became a partner of the VC. LionTree itself owns over $1 billion in assets under management.
“The lines have blurred across gaming, media, sport and social connectivity,” Sanderson said in a press release. “By seeing more than 1,300 qualified investment opportunities a year, we get a bird’s eye view into the industry and what it will take to succeed in the next phase of interactive entertainment across platforms, genres and demographics.”
According to the DDM Games Investment Review released last week, 2021 saw an explosion in investments, IPOs, and mergers & acquisitions within the gaming sector. The review reported that the total number of deals increased threefold in the sector.
“We’re constantly in the flow of information about where the big companies are looking to buy,” said Tuosto. “The heat map is lighting up across the board. That’s part of the reason why it makes sense for us financially to be investing across the board.
“Because there are exit opportunities throughout the life cycles of our companies. That wasn’t the case if you went back 10, 15 years ago. There was no IPO market for game companies.”
In 2021 alone, the gaming industry generated nearly $180 billion in revenues. This number owes its thanks to the series of lockdowns imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Which shifted the global entertainment-consumption habits, analysts at NewZoo claimed.
“We kind of set out with some general parameters that we’d be half early-stage, half late-stage, which was pretty much exactly what the first fund was,” Levin said.
“And we’re already tracking similarly with Fund Two. We’re half content, half infrastructure platform, and then roughly half domestic and half international, and that’s played out, even with Covid.”