Turkish gaming VC firm Ludus Ventures leads $3 million investment round in Paxie Games

The money comes as part of surge of investment in Türkiye

Turkish gaming VC firm Ludus Ventures leads $3 million investment round in Paxie Games

Paxie Games has raised an estimated $3m of investment in a funding round led by Ludus Ventures.

Paxie Games, creators of Merge Studio, was founded in 2021 by Direnç Çelik, Hüseyin Anıl Özmen, Refik Anıl Bulut and Sare Başel, all with existing experience in the fields of software, growth and visual design. Their main focus is on casual games with a hybrid revenue model, an approach that has led to success for their first title, Merge Studio, which surpassed 7 million downloads since its release in March 2022. It’s one of many small but successful studios that are growing rapidly in Türkiye.

On the topic of their reason for investment, general partner at Ludus Ventures, İsmet Gökşen, commented “Even though we have been more selective in our investments compared to previous years, the most critical factor for us is still the team. We're looking for fast teams that can create a differentiation point. Unfortunately, it's no longer enough for teams to produce good games, but their ability to launch and grow their games is critical for the follow-on investments. Paxie is a team that has impressed us in every way, and we are thrilled to have made the first investment of this year in this team.”

Along the Turkish express

The investment in Paxie Games further indicates a vibrant and growing venture fund trend in the Turkish games market. Despite traditional industries in the countries taking a hit due to the economic downturn, mobile gaming has not just remained stable but grown through this turbulent period. The massive gaming audience domestically and the success of studios moving abroad or exits to other countries suggests a strong and hopefully persistent mobile industry.

Co-founder and CEO of Paxie Games, Direnç Çelik, commented on the studio’s aims in the short term and was bullish about the potential for success. "In a short period of 1.5 years, we developed a casual puzzle game that achieved great success worldwide, bringing both the game and the company to a profitable point, In addition, we are happy to progress in this investment round with Ludus Ventures, who has been with us since the beginning of our journey and ensures that all our focus is on game production."

This marks the second significant investment in Paxie Games by Ludus Ventures, following a $1 million investment in 2021.


Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.