A Whole New World: Singularity 6’s Series A
We are very excited to announce we are doubling down on our portfolio company Singularity 6’s $16.5m Series A, and we are pleased to welcome new investor and Series A lead Andreessen Horowitz.
LVP has been working with Singularity 6 since the company was founded in early 2018, and we’re thrilled for founders Anthony & Aidan, and all the Sixers. Their compelling vision and wealth of experience gave us the conviction to write our largest ever early-stage check when we led their Seed round last year. It has been a joy to work with them since that time and we are excited to continue our collaboration through the next stages of their journey.
At LVP, we are committed to early stage. Really early stage. When we first met Anthony and Aidan it was at the proverbial – and literal – “only a powerpoint” stage (and even the deck was v0.1). But more relevantly they spoke to us with a unique insight into the evolution of games, their audiences and participants; and how their company would be the one to define and own the next generation of social engagement and entertainment through the game worlds they would build. Their vision resonated strongly with a core thesis that we had been formulating for some time at LVP, and so for us was immensely exciting.
This alignment, when coupled with their extremely strong track record of success (Anthony led a 500-strong delivery team as the Development Director of League of Legends), gave us the confidence that not only were they on a path to great success, but we would have a truly inspirational and fun time working together.
We review over 600 opportunities a year, and while we understand and appreciate that each one embodies someone’s passion and hopes, most sadly don’t fully align with our thinking. But when a vision does fit we commit quickly and deeply: we are conviction investors, not momentum investors. We have our core thinking in theses across the games ecosystem, and when a founder’s vision, mission and capability intersects across all the axes we measure, as it did with Singularity 6, then we lean in heavily. That we did so with Anthony and Aidan is in no small part down to their articulation of their singular goal – their mix of vision, game strategy and team was exactly why LVP was founded in the first place.
A Game Changer
For the past several years we have seen new opportunities in the PC and cross-platform gaming space opening up for startups, driven by a number of factors.
On the development side:
Agile new teams to drive innovation through the use of democratised tools;
‘Backend-as-a-service’ tools and platforms that allow even small teams to easily and cheaply access the cloud; and
Exciting developments and possibilities around ML and AI, improving scalability of operations and of game content.
On the distribution level:
Greater competition improving independent game developer’s revenue shares and opening up game discovery.
Regarding business models:
There has been a paucity of Games-as-a-Service console offerings and incumbents have been struggling to adapt to this new dynamic; and
A recognition that F2P is here to stay, but that it is maturing beyond the wild west era, and free to play is evolving in sophistication to leave spenders delighted and non spenders without disadvantage.
On the consumer side:
Users are spending more and more time online and desire a wider variety of options aside from hyper-competitive MOBA-like PvP games;
Certain communities, such as women, are being underserved by current offerings in the market;
The movement away from utilitarian social networks as social squares, towards more enticing gaming fora (see Eugene Wei’s excellent blog post on this);
A more engaged and vocal audience, with games offering entertainment across multiple formats and channels (from offering feedback on early game design on Discord, all the way to watching streamers and influencers on Twitch and Youtube); and
Interlinked with the above, a lack of meaningful social interaction with other players in existing PC and mobile titles, outside of pure-play social games.
We will explore some of these themes in future deep dives, but suffice to say all of these trends are now playing out at a faster rate than even we had anticipated – see for example, the recent “store wars” and cloud platform reveals – and have coalesced to underpin S6’s original proposition.
We can’t say too much at the moment about the game that S6 are currently developing, but the push to provide deep and compelling virtual worlds that enrich the lives of users provides the animus for the company. It is a perfectly timed proposition, we believe, to meet the seismic shifts outlined above.
S6 are providing the next-generation of MMOs, with a real focus on user interaction and experience – a canvas where the audience can truly express themselves amongst friends. They are building a rich and vibrant communities that are inclusive for all players. Indeed, part of the challenge of any startup is not only to build a successful product, but to build a successful and open team. Anthony and Aidan started off with some pretty impressive credentials and we’ve been further impressed on their hiring, as well as the progress of the game itself. We feel they have assembled a formidable team of veterans and visionaries to seize this large and evolving market.
Onwards and upwards
Singularity 6 and their journey are exactly why LVP was founded, and we’re so happy to be able to support such pioneering entrepreneurs as they continue to build a genre-defining company. Congratulations again to S6!