Software Developer Expands with Investment from Regional Funding Provider

Setgo Limited, creates games and technology for online networks such as Facebook and Hi5.  Its first release Castaways has been released worldwide and has a growing audience of several thousand players.  The game sees the player stranded on a mysterious island where they must survive, prosper and maybe even escape.  Castaways is free but players buy virtual goods to enhance the game.

The company was formed in 2010 by managing director Clemens Wangerin, creative director Christian  Lavoie and technical director Jason Chown and is situated  in the Baltic Triangle at Basecamp 3 which is a space for early stage creative and digital companies.  The directors were all formerly part of the executive team at Sony’s development studio in Wavertree and have 50 years’ industry experience between them.

Managing director Clemens Wangerin said:“2010 figures show that virtual goods are an established market worth $6bn globally.  Most of the games selling virtual goods, including ours, operate a free-to-play business model.  The virtual goods are purchased in micro transactions of£1 to£2 each.

“We closely monitor user behaviour through the Setgo Metrics Browser, our own analytics tool.  This is a vital part of developing games for an online audience as the titles are never considered‘finished’ in the traditional sense of a boxed product and are continually updated and improved.

“MSIF have been very supportive and had a good understanding of our sector which enabled us to get the funding through quickly.  The loan has enabled us to secure additional finance as well as fund the continuing development, marketing and revenue of our existing title.  We are also looking to penetrate new markets abroad particularly in South America and Europe.”

MSIF investment manager Chris Walters said:“Clemens and his team have tapped into a new market within the games industry and the product is already doing very well.  The games industry in Liverpool is still thriving and it’s great to see small companies like this doing well.”

David Read, Head of Business Finance, from the NWDA said:“The creative and digital sector is a key part of the Merseyside economy.   However it is still difficult for small businesses like this to secure the finance they need to expand and we are very pleased that Small Loans for Business fills this gap.”

Setgo currently employs six staff including the directors and expects to create at least a further 10 jobs over the next five years.

Small Loans for Business is being managed by MSIF in Merseyside, and is funded by ERDF and NWDA and is available across the region.

Ends

For further information contact Angela White on 07739 825801 or email Angela.White@milex.uk.com

Notes to editors

Small Loans for Business (SLfB)

A loan scheme designed to help new individuals, small business owners and social enterprises to start a new business or expand and established one. You must have a viable business plan and have been unable to secure all or part of your finance from commercial sources. Loans range between£3,000 to£50,000.

You can apply online with the online application form or for more details on SLfB criteria call 0871 384 1021.

MSIF

MSIF is a Merseyside-based fund that was set up in 1996 to manage money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Objective One Programme. The aim of the organisation was to kickstart the Merseyside economy by providing finance to businesses and entrepreneurs that could not get funding elsewhere. MSIF was heralded a success and its model was replicated throughout Europe.

Between 1996 and 2008 (when the previous funds closed for investment) we invested over£134m in 1,356 businesses, creating and preserving 13,511 jobs and bringing in excess of£245m private sector investment to the region.In addition to hitting investment targets and creating a stronger local economy, MSIF’s ultimate goal was to generate enough money from returns on investments to continue providing finance to Merseyside SMEs long after the ERDF money had stopped. This goal has been achieved with the creation of The Merseyside Loan and Equity Fund which will invest up to£25m during the next 5 years.

MSIF manages two currently investing funds:

The Merseyside Loan and Equity Fund provides finance from£50k to£2m through loan, mezzanine and equity finance to established businesses with at least two years trading history.

The Merseyside Small Loans for Business Fund which is managed on behalf of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). This fund provides loans from£3k to£50k and back earlier stage businesses including start ups.

Angela White

Milex Marketing&Communications Ltd

Tel: 07739 825801

Email: Angela.White@milex.uk.com  


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