How can an online gaming business expand into international markets?
Founded in 2004, Preston-based Soccer Manager is a free online football management game that has been downloaded by over 50 million players in 234 countries. The game has more than 1 million active users each month and last September the launch of Soccer Manager 2021 contributed to an 80% revenue increase. Additionally, the business has benefited from the growth of the video game sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The developers of the popular online game have raised £3 million in funding to grow its user base in the Middle East and the Far East. Soccer Manager will invest in local language translations, further develop Soccer Manager 2022 which will launch this Autumn and relaunch Soccer Manager World, its original multi-player game, by developing new apps and features.
Mercia Asset Management first backed Soccer Manager in 2013 through debt and its EIS fund. Mercia then invested directly into the business in 2015. This most recent (2021) round of funding will see Mercia invest a further £750,000. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (managed by Mercia) and the Government’s Future Fund will also invest a further £750,000 and £1.5 million, respectively. Mercia now holds a fully diluted direct investment stake of 39% with another 7.6% held by Mercia’s EIS funds.
Co-founder and Chief Executive of Soccer Manager, Andy Gore, said “We founded Soccer Manager with a vision to create high-quality football games that the whole world could play. We have always had the view that football, mobile technology and the internet is a powerful combination with which to achieve this vision. After years of building out our IP, technology and games to millions of people worldwide, this investment will help us further accelerate our current growth and deliver on our strategic ambitions.”
Picture – Andy Gore, Soccer Manager Co-Founder and CEO (Left) and Tarid Javaid, Partner at Garbutt + Elliott (Right). Garbutt + Elliott provided fundraising advice to Soccer Manager.