HAMBURG and LONDON, May 18 /CNW/ - 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, today 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.
"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 it 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 GBP100 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 US$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 Ossenbruegen 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. InnoGames was advised by the M&A advisory company Corporate Finance Partners on this investment.
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.
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 GBP100 million fund dedicated to backing European technology companies.
SOURCE INNOGAMES GMBH
For further information: For further information: For InnoGames: Dennis Heinert, firstname.lastname@example.org, +49-40-78-89-33-568; For Fidelity Growth Partners Europe: Vanessa McDonald, email@example.com, +44-75-40-32-53-19