SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — With all its challenges, 2020 was a year of innovation, especially in the tech sector. Many of the new technologies introduced this year transcend COVID and will entertain, connect and make life easier beyond 2020. GFR Fund embraced this rise in innovation and invested in eight new companies throughout this year. Its investments ranged from seed to Series B, across varying sectors like peer wagering, gaming, augmented fashion and remote work solutions. GFR Fund looked beyond North America to fund companies in Europe as well. Investments included:
- Hiberworld has a browser-based platform that makes it easy for anyone to create user-generated games.
- Thunderpod is improving workplace culture with a suite of remote work solutions, including employee engagement, employee gifting, and professional development tools.
- RTFKT (Artifact Studios) uses augmented reality to create luxury sneakers for eSports players, content creators, streamers and fans, blending the worlds of virtual and reality.
- Edgegap helps game studios reduce lag so gamers can connect seamlessly and play online without interruption.
This year, even with its difficulties, some of GFR Fund’s portfolio companies successfully raised Series B funding, such as Apprentice IO and Tovala. While other of GFR Fund’s top-performing portfolio companies used this year to blend emerging technologies in creative ways to connect and entertain a world that is stuck at home.
For example, WaveXR, an interactive virtual entertainment experience, drew two million viewers into a virtual concert experience featuring a digital avatar of artist The Weeknd. GameClub offers a subscription platform that curates the best mobile games available, to keep individuals entertained while at home. VRChat opened up monetization and its community tapped into one of the biggest mobile crazes of the year, the game «Among Us,» created for free on Steam.
«No doubt, this was an interesting year! But throughout, we were amazed at the ingenuity of digital entertainment and tech companies that stepped up to the challenge and created technologies to scale that fit the time and the need of their audiences,» said Teppei Tsutsui, CEO and Managing Partner of GFR Fund.
In 2021, GFR Fund will be looking to further expand its portfolio and is seeking early-stage founders and technologies in digital entertainment, including creative influencers, video gaming and esports, live streaming, social commerce, and online wagering. GFR Fund offers its portfolio global business opportunities in the Asian market combined with deep connections in Silicon Valley.
About GFR Fund
The GFR Fund is a venture capital fund that works with strategic investors to give early-stage technology companies the opportunity to accelerate growth in the digital entertainment sector. GFR Fund is an affiliate of GREE, Inc., a global leader in the mobile gaming industry. To date, GFR Fund has invested in 47 companies, including ProGuides, RTFKT, Fan.AI, VRChat, WaveXR, Theta.tv, Littlstar, Fable, YBVR, Sturfee, Resolve, Apprentice.io and Phiar. For more information, visit www.gfrfund.com.