Fidelity Growth Partners Invests in InnoGames’ Future
May 2010. Fidelity Growth Partners Europe (FGPE), a pan-European venture and growth equity investor, and InnoGames, a leading developer and publisher of free-to-play online games, announced a strategic partnership. FGPE has taken a minority stake in the company and will provide advice and access to its extensive partnership network to help InnoGames expand globally. InnoGames currently has almost 50 million registered players across the globe playing successful titles such as Tribal Wars, The West, and Grepolis. Corporate Finance Partners – now ACXIT Capital Partners – acted as the adviser to InnoGames and its shareholders.
“FGPE’s investment – both in capital and serving as close consultant and advisor – will enable us to take the company forward at a faster pace”, said Hendrik Klindworth, InnoGames, co-founder and Managing Director. “The online gaming market is experiencing tremendous growth, and we intend to be one of the dominant players. The combination of our gaming know-how and FGPE’s invaluable and wide-ranging experience will get us there.”
“InnoGames has every indication of a company that can become a global success,” said Davor Hebel, who led the investment for FGPE. “InnoGames has developed and published some of the industry’s most popular browser-based online games, quickly building a community of millions of engaged players. Our partnership will enable the team to focus on what is does best, building great games; and allow us to focus on what we do best, providing the advice and hands-on guidance that helps companies transform their markets. Companies such as InnoGames, with the potential and aspiration for greatness, are exactly the type we want to back. This is a fantastic kick-off investment for our new GBP 100 million European fund.”
InnoGames’ titles do not require any additional software; all that is needed is an internet connection and a browser. The games are free-to-play with the players opting to purchase various in-game advantages and virtual goods. These types of games are growing in popularity over the world. According to DFC Intelligence, an expert video game and entertainment industry research company, this market is estimated at USD 1.8 billion in 2010 with a 25% compounded annual growth rate expected over the next five years.
The three co-founders of InnoGames, Eike and Hendrik Klindworth along with Michael Zillmer, will continue to manage the company, along with the recent addition of Sven Ossenbrueggen as chief financial officer, who was formerly CEO of Gamigo. Davor Hebel of FGPE will sit on the supervisory board, providing counsel and access to substantial resources. In the search for a suitable investor, InnoGames and its shareholder were advised by Corporate Finance Partners (CFP), a German-based M&A advisory firm. “With the InnoGames deal we once again proofed that we are the leading M&A advisor in the German Internet sector,” said Julian Riedlbauer, former Managing Director Corporate Finance Partners.
InnoGames’ roots go back to 2003, when founders Eike and Hendrik Klindworth and Michael Zillmer developed the browser game Tribal Wars. In 2007, they founded InnoGames GmbH, which has grown rapidly to become one of the biggest developers and publishers of browser games globally. Today, InnoGames is highly profitable and has almost 50 million registered users across three successful game titles: Tribal Wars, The West, and Grepolis. (www.innogames.com)
About Fidelity Growth Partners Europe
Fidelity Growth Partners Europe is a venture and growth capital investor which backs entrepreneurial companies in the IT and clean technology sectors across Europe. By combining a collaborative partnership within an international network FGPE supports portfolio companies as they accelerate their growth and become leaders in their fields. Building on Fidelity’s 40 year heritage of venture investing, the firm has established a significant presence in Europe and invested in some of the market leaders such as Seatwave and Curam Software. In January 2010, FGPE raised a GBP 100 million fund dedicated to backing European technology companies. (www.fgpe.com)
ACXIT Capital Partners is a leading independent corporate finance and investment advisory firm for mid-market clients and entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond. Since 1998, ACXIT offers its clients comprehensive corporate finance advisory services including M&A and capital markets advisory as well as restructuring, equity/debt and strategic advisory. As an independent, privately owned firm we maintain offices and representations in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Zurich, Hong Kong and New York, as well as strong alliances in France, China and India. (www.acxit.com)
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