Jason Chapman is Managing Partner at Konvoy Ventures, a venture capital fund dedicated to the games industry. Konvoy Ventures invests in the infrastructure technology, tools, and platforms of tomorrow’s video gaming industry.
Before the event takes place, we caught up with Chapman for his thoughts on investment and how the current pandemic has affected getting funding.
What’s the primary Investments focus of your company?
We particularly focus on platforms, technology, and infrastructure within the industry. We like content exposure that is not subject to single content risk.
What are the key advantages for founders when they raise investment from your company?
We are dedicated to this industry, our limited partners are strategic, and once you are part of our portfolio we go to work for you. We attempt to expedite opening commercial doors for our companies, help them with hiring, and whatever else they need. If you have questions about what it is like to work with us, I would encourage you to reach out to our current portfolio.
What kind of companies/projects are you interested in?
We like companies building platforms that are going to bring the next 100M gamers into the ecosystem. We like new genres that funnel players into being creators. We also like technologies that can be successful in gaming and have applications in other tangential industries.
What do you look for in a founder, or founding team?
History of execution, honesty, ability to take feedback, and how they treat other people. A good founding team can have a bad idea and pivot; however, a bad team is a dead end.
Did your investment activity or focus change because of Covid-19 pandemic? If yes how?
COVID has highlighted what is so great about gaming: it is a social channel for people to play and create together in community
It did not change, we have continued to actively allocate. We have done 6 new investments during the span of COVID (February-present). Innovation in gaming has not stopped during COVID; therefore, we will continue to find the best entrepreneurs improving our industry.
Do you need a pitch deck, and if so, what information should a founder be sure to include to interest you enough to want to know more and have a meeting?
Yes, it is helpful to have a deck. Things I want to know about every startup:
- Why are you the right team to go after the idea?
- Why is now the right time to launch this company?
- Who is using your product (e.g. clients)?
- What is your actual TAM (it isn't the entire market of gaming)?
- What do you want from your investor base?
What do you expect to learn from a founder at the first meeting?
I want to have a clear understanding of their business, their short term goals, their long-term goals, and what are their hurdles to achieving success. I like to repeat back to founders what they are asking me to believe.
Could you give any advice for developers or teams for pitching over video calls?
Invest in good/comfortable headphones. Other than that, just be yourself and be engaged!
How has the investment cycle changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, typically, how long is it taking to close deals?
We are seeing that most founders we meet for our first call to check wired is 8-10 weeks.
Has the pandemic changed your outlook for the future in the longer term?
COVID has accelerated the acquisition of many gamers and creators into the ecosystem. COVID has highlighted what is so great about gaming: it is a social channel for people to play and create together in community.
What trends do you see emerging in games over the pandemic that are likely to persist post-pandemic?
While games have begun integrating social layers into games long ago, we think games will become an important facilitator of social interaction in a work from home world
While games have begun integrating social layers into games long ago, we think games will become an important facilitator of social interaction in a work from home world. All current mediums of communication for stay at home workforces are focused on just communication. A platform like Discord, for example, has video chat, group messaging, direct messaging, and steam integrations that would allow for an alternative to Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Slack that’s so much more fun. A game like Fall Guys would be a perfect game for a team to play that’s casual but also competitive.
Conversely, what trends do you think are short term?
I think the obvious answer here is that the significant uptick in spending will taper off as people are able to go out and socialize in person. We’ve seen companies from Ubisoft to Take-Two post YoY Q2 revenue increases between 18% and 54% and those levels are most likely not sustainable. During the pandemic, consumers that were fortunate to not have lost their jobs had disposable income but nothing to spend it on. What will come from this is the acceleration of new gamers joining the market but as other avenues of entertainment become available again it’s clear we will see a tapering off of revenue growth.
Want to meet Jason Chapman at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital 2020?
You could meet Chapman and many more investors online next month by signing up for Investor Connector at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital 2020. So if you’re seeking funding, sign up here.
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