Bitkraft Ventures expands to Asia for game investing
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Bitkraft Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on games, is expanding to Asia for its gaming investments.
Bitkraft has been one of the most active gaming VC funds lately, according to research by Drake Star Partners.
Today, the company announced its expansion into Asia with the addition of Jin Oh as partner and Jonathan Huang as principal. It already has a track record of investments in Asia including Tier1, Nerdystar and Tatsumeeko.
The fund said the move to establish a team in the region is a testament to the size of the Asian gaming market as well as the increasing entrepreneurial activity in the region within the gaming industry. These key hires also round out Bitkraft global presence which includes leadership in Europe, North America, and Africa.
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Oh and Huang bring extensive experience and expertise in the Asian market, which will help Bitkraft identify and invest in promising gaming and interactive entertainment startups in the region across both Web2 and Web3 gaming.
Based in Seoul, South Korea, Oh is the former president of worldwide publishing at Riot Games. He was also CEO of Garena (Sea Ltd.), and managing director at Blizzard Entertainment.
In the last decade, Oh has led global teams of up to 2,000 people and helped launch some of the biggest entertainment titles, including League of Legends, Valorant, Team Fight Tactics, Free Fire, World of Warcraft, and Starcraft. As a partner at Bitkraft Ventures, Oh will be responsible for leading Asia investments and supporting the firm’s global initiatives.
“Asia-Pacific is the largest gaming market in the world, accounting for 48% of the global gaming revenue in 2022. The companies founded here have long led innovation and trend-setting in the video games and interactive entertainment industry, and continue to do so today,” said Oh, in a statement at Bitkraft Ventures. “I’m thrilled to join the Bitkraft team and help add value to the portfolio companies they serve and identify up-and-coming leaders. I strongly believe that Bitkraft is best positioned to become Asia’s leading gaming venture capital firm.”
Based in Singapore, Huang is a seasoned early and growth equity investor focused on interactive entertainment. Prior to joining Bitkraft, he was a principal at Sea Capital (Digital Media) and associate director at Temasek. At Bitkraft Ventures, Huang will be responsible for the entire investment process from origination to evaluation, structuring, and closing.
Bitkraft Ventures has also promoted Jasper Brand to partner and Justin Swart to principal. Brand, who has been on the founding team with Bitkraft Ventures since 2017, has been instrumental in investments including Frost Giant Studios, Inworld AI, and Theorycraft Games, and serves on the boards of several portfolio companies.
“Nothing fills me with more energy and excitement than witnessing our team graduate and grow, and seeing outstanding people choose Bitkraft as the place to which they commit their professional careers. With Jasper’s promotion, Jin joining us, and Carlos as our partner leading the Web3 side, we have rounded out our management team. Jonathan and Justin complement Bitkraft in two key markets, and we all look forward to their contributions and continued growth,” said Jens Hilgers, founding general partner at Bitkraft Ventures, in a statement. “Bitkraft is a truly global investment firm with team members across America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The geographical distribution of our team enables us to see regional trends and opportunities early and execute deals on a global basis.”
As partner, he will continue to focus on Bitkraft’s game studio strategy, emerging opportunities in AI and UGC, and overall U.S. coverage with his presence in Los Angeles. Swart is a key member of Bitkraft’s Web3 team and covers the Africa region, which has doubled the number of gamers in the last five years. During his tenure at Bitkraft Ventures, he has led deals such as Carry1st, South Africa’s leading game publisher.
“Over the past six years, fueled by a shared passion, we have scaled Bitkraft like our own startup: moving fast, relentlessly serving our founders, and focusing on improvement every day,” said Brand, in a statement. “Teaming up with experienced founders, from industry legends to fresh talent, to create games and experiences for life-long memories is a personal dream come true. After building my career at Bitkraft, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to join the partnership and look forward to evolving with the firm.”
Bitkraft operates four venture funds with a total of over $600 million in assets under management and had over 100 companies in its global portfolio as of August 2022.
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