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Today I met with Samuli Syvähuoko and Kalle Kaivola from Sisu Game Ventures, on topic around investing into games companies, founder dynamics, investor selection and how founders should operate with their investors.
Samuli has been the founder of Remedy Entertainment, Fathammer, Recoil Games, Helsinki GameWorks and Armada Interactive. Most recently in 2014, Samuli founded Sisu Game Ventures, an early stage evergreen fund, which doing investments into small gaming companies.
Kalle has been in business development roles at Recoil Games, Rovio and Next Games. In 2014 Kalle founded Helsinki GameWorks together with Samuli and ten other game industry veterans. When Kalle joined Sisu in 2018, he joined forces with Samuli for the fourth time.
You don’t want to miss this amazing episode!
- The whole point of Sisu was to level-up the games company scene in the Nordics, doing early stage investments.
- Sisu is an evergreen fund, so there is no exit-date coming up when the fund needs to return money to the people who have invested into the fund.
- How an investor can help the founders? Getting pulled in by the founders who are asking for feedback on the business.
- When to approach investors, for instance if you are a junior and doing your first company, you can seek for advice from Sisu. Sisu will always meet.
- Entrepreneur growth happens a lot in the tough situations, both in successful moments and unsuccessful ones.
- Founding team needs to understand the restrictions of a small company.
- Founders should be transparent with the investors, you are all in the same boat.
- How the investors have gotten active in the games scene in the last 25 years.
- Understanding the games business and setting the right expectations is key for being a successful games investor.
- Sisu prefers $25k to $50k investments, but is now also doing bigger check sizes. Sisu is active in the Nordics, but also have done investments in the US.
- How founders should approach pricing the investment round.
- Drive – Daniel Pink
- Black Swan – Nassim Taleb
- The Paradox of Choice – Barry Schwartz
- Game engine architecture – Jason Gregory
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