Wargaming co-founder Nick Katselapov has launched Mika Games, a gaming investment firm that aims to invest $50 million in mobile gaming studios.

So far, Mika Games has raised $10 million in an initial round of funding led by Boston-based venture capital firm Flint Capital.

Mika Games, based in Nicosia, Cyprus, wants to provide funding and full growth support to mobile game studios in the pre-launch stage, meaning they are ready to launch their games in a single market for testing.

The goal is to eventually invest $50 million in game studios to help them become self-sufficient and scale from seed to higher valuations and target an eventual IPO.

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Nick Katselapov is the CEO of Mika Games.

Mika Games, founded in 2023, said it is one of the few professional investment companies of its kind in the gaming market and has invested in two mobile studios: Guli Games and Hot Siberians. These partnerships demonstrate Mika Games’ commitment to supporting ambitious gaming founders around the world and driving their success.

Katselapov was inspired by his deep interest in mobile gaming, which he believes is by far the most accessible and largest form of gaming. He began his early gaming career as a producer, and his goal is to use the experience and knowledge he gained from developing and running Wargaming to further the growth of the teams in which Mika invests.

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The company solves a common problem in the gaming industry. Many studios, despite having finished products, are forced to halt progress after running out of initial funding.

VC firms that are not involved in the gaming business are often hesitant to invest at this stage if sufficient revenue has not yet been generated because they do not fully understand the industry. Mika Games, founded by gaming professionals, knows how to distinguish projects with sufficient potential for market success so it can select them for investment and bridge the gap, the company said.

“83% of mobile games fail within three years, and a big factor is a lack of financing and business guidance,” Katselapov said in a statement. “We see a huge market gap here, which gives us an opportunity to capitalize. huge opportunity. Our industry experience as an investor and operator positions us well to select talented teams and ambitious games, invest capital and energy in their development, gradually accrue value and increase our breakthrough success Opportunity.”

Unlike traditional early-stage game venture capital funds, Mika Games only selects a handful of established studios that are already building successful games. The company supports them during the soft launch phase to scale up and achieve at least $1 million in monthly revenue.

Our goal is to exceed this amount. Mika Games not only acts as an investor but also uses the expertise of its team to provide hands-on support on business processes, game design, monetization, marketing and product strategy.

“We see Mika Games as a very promising project with gaming expertise and a well-thought-out business model. This, combined with our support, will enable them to achieve their ambitious goals,” said Demi, Partner at Flint Capital Terry Smirnoff said in a statement. “Flint Capital has both early-stage funds (through which we invest) and later-stage funds, demonstrating our ability to support them throughout their life cycle. We have companies in our portfolio that have gone public as well as unicorns, Examples include Socure, Flo and WalkMe. We know how to go down this path and are excited to make it happen with Mika Games.”

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After a decline in active growth in 2022-2023, the mobile gaming market is expected to rebound to $111.4 billion in 2024. As investment in the market decreases, many potential players who have already passed the seed stage are seeking additional funding. Mika Games said this provides the company with an excellent opportunity to identify and acquire the best projects under favorable conditions.

Mika Games currently has three employees: Katselapov, CEO; Anton Kolkovskiy, investment director and COO, and a back-end analyst. The company is taking a lean approach and plans to provide gentle guidance as well as “important and honest feedback.”

The company will invest globally across genres, focusing on mobile-first, free-to-play, live-service games with long-term monetization potential – games that can be played for years.

Katselapov’s name emerged more than a year ago with the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The Belarusian KGB accused him of being a terrorist in the Belarusian state (presumably for helping Wargaming withdraw from its Russian operations).

“Mika Games is aware of the accusations made by the Republic of Belarus against Nick. Although the authorities of the Republic of Belarus have tried to prosecute some entrepreneurs and individuals for political reasons, the company cannot comment on the specific details of the matter,” Mika Games said.

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