Former Sega Europe and America CEO joins Mercia Fund Management

Mike Hayes heads VC’s new games division

Venture capital firm Mercia Fund Management has recruited former Sega Europe and Sega of America CEO Mike Hayes as the lead its new digital and e-commerce division.

Hayes is a 23 year industry veteran with previous experience at Nintendo as marketing director during the Game Boy and Super Nintendo Entertainment System launches, as well as Codemasters. He left Sega last year.

Now he’s joining the Merica Fund’s new digital and e-commerce division, which will invest not only in gaming companies but also in e-commerce and digital media.

“I am delighted to join MFM – with oversubscribed funds and a growing portfolio, the company is ambitious, dynamic and offers an attractive package to start-ups,” said Hayes.

“I look forward to working with the MFM team where my main focus is to build a portfolio of digital media, gaming and e-commerce EIS and Seed EIS investments.”

The new VC’s target is start-ups with “a highly scalable business model and modest investment requirements”, and promises financing, grant advice, accommodation, and centralised support.

Candidate studios should have already begun trading (shipped a game), be less than two years old, have fewer than 25 employees and less than £200,000 in gross assets. Firms also cannot have already raised cash through EIS or VCT.

The VC wants to work with companies that “typically turn over at least £1 million,” and are already, or close to, profitable.

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