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Bitkraft Ventures raises $275M for gaming investments

Apr 3, 2024
Illustration of a hundred dollar bill as a video game controller.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Bitkraft Ventures has raised $275 million to invest in gaming studios and tech, founding general partner Jens Hilgers tells Axios.

Why it matters: The fund further fuels the Denver-based VC firm's dominance as one of the most active investors in early-stage gaming companies.

Zoom in: Bitkraft Venture Fund 3 is its third fund targeting seed and Series A funding.

  • It typically invests as the lead in seed rounds that total between $3 million and $10 million, while Series A rounds are between $10 million and $20 million.
  • The latest fund brings its total assets under management to $1 billion across six funds.

Context: Hilgers started investing in 2015 after ESL, the esports organization he co-founded, was acquired. He formally launched Bitkraft in 2017.

  • Venture Fund I launched in 2019 with $166 million and Fund II in 2021 with $274 million.
  • Its portfolio of more than 130 companies includes gaming studio Frost Giant, in-game advertising platform Anzu, mobile gaming platform Carry1st and social platform Inworld. Notable late-stage investments include Discord and Epic Games.
  • It has more than 20 staffers working across Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

What they're saying: "When I got started in the '90s, gaming was 15% of the entertainment industry. Now it's the largest part of it, but it's still far from being done ... [as] basically all of humanity spends an ever-increasing amount of time in digital realities and simulated worlds," Hilgers says.

What's next: Bitkraft plans to back 30 to 35 companies with the new fund. Hilgers says his firm is exploring more investments in India and is monitoring AI developments and the growth of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.

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