By now, we are pretty used to hearing about VC firms investing in startups, and sometimes even acquiring them for later gain. However, a rare event has been triggered by an Israeli startup -- the launch of its own venture capital fund. Overwolf, an Israeli gaming startup that has caught the attention of Intel, Warner, and Ubisoft among others, recently announced the launch of Overwolf Creator Fund.
Don’t get confused by the name, the new investment fund will not be focusing its $50 million checkbook on traditional content creators (from Twitch and YouTube), but rather funding app and game creators, gaming mod developers, and gaming companies which plan on integrating mods into their titles.
The first investment is in
Overwolf notes that other than just financial backing, creators and startups will also receive mentorship, acceleration, and marketing services from the new fund. In addition, companies will get early access to CurseForge Core -- the platform that Overwolf acquired from Amazon in 2020. The platform allows players to install and manage mods from anywhere, along with full access to a detailed control panel with usage habits and trends. Through the platform, gamers can engage with mod creators. The early approach will allow, according to the company, the assimilation of mods in new games even before they hit the market.
Not waiting too long to start the game, the Creator Fund has already made its first investment: American game developer Stray Bombay and its co-op first person shooter game -- The Anacursis -- where you and 3 other players battle aliens hoards across space. As part of the investment, the U.S. based studio will integrate the CurseForge Core in its upcoming game title release.
“Everyone wins with community-created experiences. Gamers get in-game apps and mods that make gameplay more exciting; the creators of these in-game apps and mods can turn their passion into a profession, earning a sustainable income for their creations; and game studios enhance their games by outsourcing content creation to talented and passionate gamers, maximizing shelf life and engagement,” said Overwolf CEO and Co-founder, Uri Marchand. “Simply put, community-created experiences are becoming a critical part of gaming, and developers will need to harness its power to thrive in the next era of games. We are thrilled to be able to support both sides of the marketplace, in-game creators and games studios, by launching a new $50M fund that will lay the groundwork for a new era of participating in AAA game creation.”
Overwolf told Geektime that it would take equity in its portfolio studios, while also integrating its products in their games and apps. According to the Israeli gaming company, the fund was raised from capital it had received during its last funding round. The fund is already in talks with studios, aiming to quickly expand its portfolio.
This is not the first time Overwolf has stuck its toes in the venture capital waters. In 2018, Overwolf joined up with Intel on a $7 million gaming venture fund. A year later it reported investing a total of $2 million in more than 25 projects.