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14 September 2011

Cashcade Founders Form Digital Gaming Venture Fund - 12th September 2011

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Cashcade co-founders Simon Collins and Patrick Southon have announced the formation of a new digital gaming venture capital fund to be supported by Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PLC.

New Game Capital, as the fund will be called, has been set up with an initial £15m investment from the online gambling giant with the intention of investing in high potential start-ups in the monetised digital gaming sphere.

Since leaving day-to-day operation at Bwin.Party Simon and Patrick have been tasked with developing the fund to ensure that their former colleagues at Bwin are at the vanguard of new developments and innovations in the realm of real-money, virtual currency and social games.

And as promised the team have begun to deliver with today’s announcement of their first foray into the investment market with a first round investment in social bingo provider Avatingo. Commenting on the investment New Game Capital described Avatingo as a “multi-platform virtual world with a personalised social bingo experience.”

Patrick re-affirmed the fund’s commitment to social gaming saying “casual games have brought digital gaming into the mainstream of the global entertainment industry and have attracted millions of new users to gaming over the past five years.”


Digital Gaming Fund Set Up By Cashcade Founders...

A new digital gaming venture capital fund has been launched with an initial £15 million investment from Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PLC. The fund is being formed by the founders of Cashcade Simon Collins and Patrick Southon.

The fund titled " NewGame Capital " will invest in high potential start-ups in the monetised digital gaming arena that include casual, social, online and mobile services. The fund comprises a £15 million pound investment from Bwin.Party and another £1 million from the investment team. Additional backers are hoped to bring to £50 million for the fund in total. Advisers to the fund include Collins, Southon and merchant bank NewShore Partners. It has already made its first investment in free-to-play social bingo provider Avatingo. According to a statement it “intends to build a portfolio of up to 15 companies with consumer-facing, intellectual property or B2B business models”.

Collins and Southon started Cashcade 10 years with brands like Foxy Bingo and sold the company to Bwin.Party in 2009 for around £96 million and the pair stepped down from day-to-day operations at Bwin.Party in February to concentrate on the new venture.

Noel Rowse who replaced Southon as the MD of Cashcade in January this year commented: “Casual games have brought digital gaming into the mainstream of the global entertainment industry and have attracted millions of new users to gaming over the past five years.

“With the growth of micro-payments and other forms of paid-participation, the lines between online gaming and online gambling have started to blur. We anticipate continued strong market growth in monetised digital gaming and are seeing a very vibrant start-up scene related to the sector both in Europe and North America,” he added.

The chief financial officer of Bwin.Party, Martin Weigold commented: “We see huge innovation taking place across the social, casual, mobile and real-money gaming area. NewGame Capital has a rare combination of entrepreneurial, strategic and financial expertise.

“We believe that this will allow it not only to identify companies with innovative business models, but also to guide them towards long-term success. We are excited to invest alongside such a blue-chip team.”

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