Games are growing all around the world, and so are game studios. We'll talk to the experts who are focusing on emerging markets such as India, Eastern Europe, and Africa about the growth they see and the potential for accelerated growth, economic benefits, and lucrative investments.
Where Gaming Rises Next
Maria is the General Partner of The Games Fund (https://gamesfund.vc/), a $50M early-stage VC fund investing in the Eastern European games market.
Before founding TGF, Maria has been the investment director of MGVC, the investment arm of Mail.ru Group (MAIL:LI), since its foundation in 2017, where she was responsible for M&A and venture capital investments. Maria led and supervised over 35 investments in MGVC.
Before MGVC, Maria worked in VC and PE companies (Vestor.In, AYR financial) and in the management consulting firm (A.T.Kearney).
Cordel Robbin-Coker is Co-Founder and CEO of Carry1st (www.carry1st.com), the mobile games publishing platform that enables global gaming studios to unlock the untapped African market.
Prior to founding Carry1st, Cordel spent a decade in high finance with The Carlyle Group and Morgan Stanley across the US, Europe, and Africa; most recently serving as Vice President in Carlyle’s first Africa fund.
Cordel is a Director of the Milton Hershey School – a K12 boarding school for underprivileged children – as well as the multi-billion dollar endowment that supports it. Cordel is an active angel investor with over 20 investments in Africa-focused technology startups. He is a graduate of Stanford University.
About Carry1st: Founded in 2018, Carry1st employs a team of 32 people across 14 countries. It has raised $9.5M to-date, with investors including Konvoy Ventures, Riot Games, Raine Ventures, Akatsuki, TTV Capital, CRE Venture Capital, and Perivoli Innovations.
Salone Sehgal is the world's first female General Partner of a games and interactive VC fund. She co-founded Lumikai Fund, India's first early-stage interactive media and gaming VC, anchored by the world's largest games and media conglomerates. She has 15+ years of experience as a global games & new media investor, games entrepreneur, and former M&A banker. Previously, she was Principal at London Venture Partners (LVP), Europe's pioneering seed-stage gaming VC (with a track record of backing 40 companies delivering $14Bn in shareholder value).
She was also Co-founder & CEO of TrulySocial, a venture-backed gaming company building immersive social worlds for female audiences leveraging celebrities, influencers, and brands. Prior to that, she left her banking career as VP, Barclays Global COO Office with previous experience in Investment Banking with Morgan Stanley. She has $10B of M&A transaction experience. Salone also has an MBA from IESE Business School. She has served as a BAFTA Games Award Juror in 2017, been recognised as Top 30 Women in Mobile, Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech, and awarded the Iconic Women Leaders award by WEF. Salone is based out of Mumbai, India.
Here is a bit about Lumikai:
Lumikai combines the Latin word for "light" and the Japanese word for "tribe". Lumikai is India's first dedicated games and interactive media VC. Our vision is to find and fund those “game-changing” early-stage founders and help them achieve outlier success. We combine decades of strategic experience and sector knowledge while leveraging our all-star local and global networks to help propel our founders to success. We have already backed some of India's leading games companies including Bombay Play, All Star Games, Loco, and many others.
Focused on emerging and interactive technologies and digital content creation, Wanda has worked with some of the top technology companies, startups, development teams, tool providers, investment firms and international trade agencies. She works closely with clients to build partnering and investment opportunities, create market entry strategies, and assess market dynamics and trends. Having a deep expertise in digital content creation as a market analyst, Wanda is highly knowledgeable regarding the latest graphics, games, interactive and immersive technologies, emerging platforms, and development pipelines trends. She holds an MBA in International Management.