When dreams come true
It took me 10 years to know what I want to do when I grow up. It sounds like a “cliche”... well it is, but it’s not far from being the truth.
So after a 10-month journey, I am privileged to say that I have founded VGames - the first VC out of Israel investing exclusively in Game companies/studios.
Going back a few years, while I was working at Google, I had some thoughts about moving on. Meir Brand, my long-time boss and mentor, offered me a unique opportunity to build a new team leading Games out of Tel Aviv. Games was a relatively new sector for Google at that time, and with amazing partners in IL such as Playtika and Plarium, we built one of the largest hubs globally.
For me, beyond the opportunity itself, I found a new love - Games. The speed, dynamics and most importantly people/founders in this industry were the strongest I had come across and I became a Gamer as well (you have to play to know your…) I knew this is what I want to do going forward - it combines my passion for consumer, growth, and a fast-paced environment. I think it is the most exciting category in the world.
Why VC? Games, globally, have become more and more competitive. Developers are competing for attention, creativity, eyeballs, and with all that marketing has become expensive and tricky (why tricky? I’ll share my perspective on that in my next blog post). So I quickly understood that if I want to play this right and have the financial capabilities to support (really support) game entrepreneurs from scratch, I need to have the necessary funds and structure.
Why Israel? One I live here :) Israel in the past few years has become a global leader in Games. It started with 888 in the early days, which built what I call a school for consumer and Games entrepreneurship, being the first of its kind in IL. Followed by Playtika, Plarium, ironSource, Moon Active, Crazy Labs, and other well known brands - Israel has become a source of talent, development, and creativity for Games. In addition many global game companies have opened local offices in IL to participate in the talent pull and enjoy what IL has to offer.
All this has built a new generation of game entrepreneurs - more and more amazing talent building game companies. I am confident this is only the beginning, and I am surprised every day by the amount of new companies/studios/indie developers and new genres coming out of Israel.
Only Israel? No… I believe the right approach, especially in Games, is to find the right teams, concepts, genres, economy and to search as broadly as possible. So of course Israel is a sweet spot, but I personally am very excited about Eastern Europe - I think the growth in titles and content is unbelievable and I have been very involved in the Games scene in that region for quite a while. More news to come on that front.
I would like to end with a big thank you. First to our portfolio companies - big big thank you for letting me be part of your journey! We are just beginning and I’m learning every day, super confident and super excited of what will come in the future. Second, to my LP. I am privileged to have you as partners, big thank you for believing in me and for joining the ride in one of the most interesting and exciting categories to be in.
Lastly and most importantly, thanks to my wife and family for supporting me during this time. It wasn’t an easy year - travelling a lot (pre-COVID), a lot of ups and downs (like every entrepreneur) but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Our vision is to “be the best investment fund in Games for both entrepreneurs & investors” and my job is to turn that vision into reality.