Kai Bond is a partner at Courtside Ventures, the leading venture capital fund focused on early-stage sports, fitness, and gaming companies. The fund is backed by Dan Gilbert (Founder, Quicken Loans/Cleveland Cavaliers), Tony Ressler (Ares/Atlanta Hawks), John Burbank (Passport Capital/Golden State Warriors) and WPP, the world’s leading advertising services company.
Bond has two decades of experience working across venture funds, Fortune 100 enterprises and early stage startups. Most recently, he was an Investor at Comcast Ventures, leading the gaming/esports investments for their flagship fund and also ran their Catalyst Fund ($20M fund focused on underrepresented founders).
Bond joins us for Investor Connector at next month's Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, a fringe event which pairs pre-selected developers who are seeking funding with investors.
We caught up with Bond ahead of the event for his thoughts on investment and how the current pandemic has affected anyone seeking investment.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell our readers who you are and what company you currently represent. What’s the primary Investments focus of your company?
Kai Bond: Courtside Ventures - we invest in sports, fitness, and gaming/esports.
What kind of companies/projects are you interested in?
We invest in early stage companies in gaming. This includes studios creating original IP, immersion/community platforms, and platforms.
What are the key advantages for founders when they raise investment from your company?
Domain expertise and a unique insight that no one else has. We want to meet a founder who can see a trend and has the knowledge, network and ability to execute on their vision.
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?
Ideally a deck and a prototype that they can share. Sometimes, for a slightly later stage, we are looking for product market fit - either users, engagement, or revenue. It all depends on how early or late the company is.
What do you expect to learn from a founder at the first meeting?
I want to get to know their background. How do they think about this problem or opportunity they are addressing? Why are they the right team to tackle this? Getting to know the genesis story is key for founder/company fit.
Could you give any advice for developers or teams for pitching over video calls?
Be on time, do your homework in advance and come prepared with 10 slides and a demo.
How has the investment cycle changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, typically, how long is it taking to close deals?
Anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
What trends do you see emerging in games over the pandemic that are likely to persist post-pandemic? Conversely, what trends do you think are short term?
Gaming is a truly social experience. People are playing more games to connect, chat and engage with one another - that is here to stay.
Want to meet Kai Bond at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5?
You could meet Bond and many more investors online next month by signing up for Investor Connector at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5. So if you’re seeking funding, sign up here.
Please note you can only sign up for the Investor Connector if you’re a registered attendee of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5. Book your tickets now and you could save more than $210 with our Mid-Term offer.
We’re also allocating a limited amount of free passes solely for small indie developers, enabling them to meet investors and publishers, and learn from the industry’s biggest names. If you think you qualify, sign up here.