Madrid, June 4th, 2008- Axón Capital, a capital risk management company, has announced their investment of the Axón I fund in Virgin PLAY S.A, a Spanish videogame publisher which produces games for the Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox360, Nintendo and PC. This investment is in addition to the funds of private investors including the Japanese company Amuse Capital Inc, headed by Hayao Nakayma and the capital risk fund Spinnaker, all committed to Virgin PLAY’s expansion.
Virgin PLAY was founded by Tim Chaney and Francisco Encinas, two well-known veterans in the European videogame industry with an initial focus on promoting Spanish videogame talent on a global level. Since those times, it develops products in the UK, Canada, France, Hungary and South Africa. The company currently has operating offices in Madrid, London, Lisbon and a representative office in Tokyo and a growing catalogue of owned IP’s and world famous brand licensed products.
The funds from Axón Capital will give the extra push necessary for the company to succeed in its ambitious plans of development and expansion of new game concepts and their subsequent international distribution taking advantage of the demands of a continu-ingly growing industry and the new opportunities and company valuations that arise as a result.
In a related transaction, Virgin PLAY acquired an equity interest in Spanish developer Enigma Productions, of whom Axon Capital, acquired a stake in 2007.
Francisco Velázquez de Cuéllar, Chairman of Axón Capital stated,“We continue to bet on the digital Entertainment sector with Virgin Play and at the same time exploit the synergies created with our participation in Enigma. We believe that Virgin PLAY has great potential and that it comes with a solid infrastructure to take advantage of the growing tendencies of the market and consequently, achieve the consolidation that we’re expecting the sector to produce”.
Tim Chaney, Virgin PLAY President said,“The Axon Capital investment comes at a piv-otal point in our fast-track evolution from Iberian territory distributor to worldwide videogame publisher. It provides a fifth acceleration gear both in terms of short -term funding and strategic contribution from key individuals with acute knowledge and track records of building businesses in the media sector and beyond”.
About Axón Capital
Axón Capital creates and manages funds destined to the investment of technological companies in their early fazes of development. An independent firm supervised by the National Commission of Market Values (CNMV), integrates an exclusive Management system made to identify and analyze projects whose technological, financial and market perspective are adequately coordinated. Axón Capital is formed by a team of prestigious profes-sionals who have demonstrated their success in the business and technological industries with the support of the Corporación Tecnológica Tecnalia, the Italian investment fund Quantica and the Politecnic University of Madrid (UPM). Axón I is the first fund formed by a society. For more information on Axón Capital, please visit the website: www.axon-capital.com
About Virgin Play S.A.
Virgin Interactive Entertainment España S.A. commenced trading in 1995 with Mariele Isidoro and Francisco Encinas at the helm, a subsidiary of Virgin Interactive Entertainment Ltd, at the time, a VIACOM company. Over the next five years, VIE España became a leader in the videogame sector launching monster hits such as: Resident Evil 1&2, Command and Conquer, C&C: Red Alert, Driver and Baldur’s Gate. In May of 2002, Tim Chaney and Francisco Encinas lead a management buyout from then owners Titus Interactive and renamed the company Virgin PLAY and became the exclusive distributor in the Spanish and Portuguese markets for companies such as: Midway, Ignition (SNK), Take2,Playlogic, Koch Media, Koei and D3P just to name a few.
Virgin PLAY’s first publishing projects, starting in 2005, were Torrente 3, Dead&Furious and Final Armada- all became commercial successes. The company has added on to their catalogue with titles such as Donkey Xote, Snow X Racing (2007), The Crusaders(2008) and forthcoming in 2008 is Real Madrid–Real Life, Mind Your Language, Pocoyo and Lola Y Virginia, which will be published under Virgin’s new publishing brand: V.2Play.
Virgin sells and distributes its products worldwide using local distribution partners and multinational publishers and locally through their own offices in Spain and Portugal. For more information: www.virginplay.es
For more information:
Vanessa Soriano Press Relations
AXON CAPITAL Virgin PLAY
Tel.: 91 3102894 Pº de la Castellana 9-11
Fax: 91 1412540 28046 Madrid