Nicecatus.gg Raises USD$5.5m (£4.3m); GameGrooveCapital Launches

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TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: Nicecatus.gg raises USD$5.5m (£4.3m); GameGroove Capital launches USD$6m (£4.6m) investment fund; and Gameloft partners with TIM to develop mobile subscription platform.

Nicecactus.gg raises USD$5.5m (£4.3m)

France-based Nicecactus.gg, formerly known as Esport-Management, has raised USD$5.5m (£4.3m) in Series A funding to facilitate the creation of a platform to assist amateur and semi-professional esports athletes through training, sponsorship and support programmes. Following the investment, Nicecactus will be launching a USD$1.1m (£850,000) sponsorship fund designed to enable grassroots players to attend tournaments and gaming bootcamps. The Nice-based organisation was founded in 2017, and at the time of publication has over 46,000 users across its freemium and premium subscription services.

In a statement, Nicecactus.gg co-founder Alexandre Amoukteh said, “We deeply believe that if esports wants to enter the next stage of growth, it must be catered to and fostered at the grassroots level. By starting the Nicecactus Grassroots Esports Fund and raising additional capital to help unleash the full potential of every esports athlete, we further solidify our commitment to finding and raising the next generation of esports athletes."

GameGroove Capital launches USD$6m (£4.6m) investment fund

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Blackwood Games, formed by former Crytek employees, has created a yearly investment fund and accelerator programme dubbed GameGroove Capital. Up to 20 different projects per annum will receive investment from GameGroove Capital worth USD$300,000 (£231,850) each, giving a total fund value of USD$6m (£4.6m), as well as access to the accelerator support from Blackwood Games. The fund will be used to support partner organisations across the North American and CIS regions through its respective offices in the US and Ukraine respectively.

Blackwood Games was formed in February this year following a split between Crytek and the development team behind the Warface franchise.

Gameloft partners with TIM to develop mobile subscription platform

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Gameloft Distribution Solutions has partnered with Italian mobile operator TIM to develop TIM I love games, a new weekly subscription platform for mobile titles. The service, which will cost €2 (£1.72) per week, will include access to Gameloft's catalogue as well as select titles from other publishers. Moreover, mobile data used while browsing the app and playing titles will not be charged and will not affect any allowances on TIM tariffs. It will be interesting to note whether this will entice customers into using the TIM I love games service over the Apple Arcade and the (yet to be launched) Google Play Pass services, which both have a lower basic price point of €4.99 (£4.30) per month, compared to an average €8.67 (£7.46) per month.

In a statement announcing the collaboration, Antonio Imbimbo, head of entertainment & digital services at TIM, said, “We wanted to differentiate our entertainment offering through gaming. Gameloft’s innovative platform solution was just what we needed to relaunch TIM I love games and turn it into the benchmark app for those who love playing on their smartphones. This naturally led us to entrust our subscription offer management to Gameloft, with their rich catalogue and their technical expertise.”