Domestic investors line up for game ventures

SOURCE: Daily Sabah 

The acquisition of the Istanbul-based Peak Games, which last month signed the biggest sales agreement in the history of the Turkish venture ecosystem, by U.S.-based mobile gaming giant Zynga has turned the attention of domestic and foreign investors to Turkey.

Entrepreneurship Foundation (GIRVAK) Chair Sina Afra said that they were extremely pleased with the interest of domestic investors following Peak's sales agreement, after which he says nothing will be the same.

“It has made everyone in the enterprise ecosystem to turn their heads toward Turkey. It has given hope to many investors in the ecosystem for return,” Afra said.

“While a gaming venture received a $750,000 investment at the seed stage last week, we can easily say that there is a Peak effect – the first-time investors held the majority in $750,000,” he stressed.

The state provides important incentives and support to technology startups in terms of taxes, Afra noted, adding that GIRVAK was also trying to instill the idea of “I can do it too” in more young people.

Entrepreneurial flexibility

Afra went on to say that entrepreneurs always stand out in times of crisis because they can move fast and have a higher ability to see opportunities.

“With the indispensable digitalization trends that entrepreneurs have brought up in the past few years, the need for a fast and flexible structure of startups will increase even more in this process. We have often seen this in health care solutions. Startups that rapidly developed ventilators in the pandemic period and actualized it with 3D technologies are a good example of this,” Afra said.

He suggested that it should not be forgotten that everyone has been going through a crisis unlike any experienced by anyone alive today.

“Entrepreneurs need to look at what new norms bring to us and identify risks and opportunities. It is time for fast and agile decision-making,” Afra continued. “They should deal with the issues in many ways, make quick decisions, and apply them. The most important thing is to focus on the present. The solutions produced in the past should be checked in terms of actuality, and the needs of the market should be determined in the new normal and addressed with the existing structure or new muscles.”

Inspiration for youth

GIRVAK General Manager Mehru Aygül said that they turned this period into inspiration not only for entrepreneurs but also for all young people.

“Within the scope of #DigitalEvimizGirvak (Our Digital Home Girvak), we shared inspiring suggestions of our fellows and trustees from the social media accounts of the Entrepreneurship Foundation every day. With our Gtalks, Gcoffee and Gfounders brands, which we created together with the youth, we reached approximately 7,200 people organically and about 850,000 people indirectly with 68 different events,” Aygül said.

Stating that they will establish the GBase Digital Platform in partnership with the Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG) with the support of the Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA), Aygül said that on this platform, technical skills, entrepreneurship, basic social skills, and health literacy training will be given to empower young people against youth unemployment, which is expected to increase during and after the pandemic.

Ventures gain self-confidence

Many gaming ventures have gained self-confidence following Peak's $1.8 billion deal. Besides, the attention of more investors from around the world has turned to game ventures from Turkey.

However, the ventures should make good use of this opportunity. Startups should make a valuation by keeping their feet on the ground considering many aspects, such as their team, global business potential, and profitability per capita. They should not ignore the current conditions.

In addition to the early-stage support of institutions such as PILOT – the corporate startup acceleration program of Turkey's leading information and communication technologies company Türk Telekom – investments should also increase in the advanced stage. Apart from the investments made by Türk Telekom in health ventures through its TT Ventures, the number of investments in the future should definitely increase.

Despite a rocky first half of the year, Saudi Arabia’s startup funding increased by 102% from H1 2019 to H1 2020, with H1 2020 already surpassing full-year 2019 by the amount of funding. Discover more data by downloading our FREE H1 2020 Saudi Arabia Venture Capital Snapshot.

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