Loose Tooth Industries received an impressive visit from the tooth fairy, as the company announced it has raised $7.84 million in Series A financing. Loose Tooth is the parent company to Fig Publishing Inc, the only crowdfunding platform and publisher that sells SEC-qualified shares tied to individual game projects. The investment will allow Fig to rapidly grow the number of game projects made available to investors and backers on its platform.
Founded in 2015, Fig seeks to create an ecosystem where game development studios can stay independent, new talent can be discovered, and profits can be shared with fans who invest. Development funds are raised in two ways on Fig’s platform. The first is through the developer’s rewards-based campaign. Developers keep 100% of the rewards proceeds (minus credit card fees), and backers receive copies of the game, T-shirts or other items.
Secondly, Fig can offer securities, such as Fig Game Shares, that have returns tied to an individual game’s sales. With Fig Game Shares, non-accredited investors are able to participate in the potential success of a game. Fig Game Shares pay returns based on the sales revenue of a single game, so investors get paid when a game launches, rather than having to wait for an exit if and when that occurs, which is the case with other crowdfunding platforms supporting investments in game studios.
In 2016, Fig hosted four of the year’s 10 largest crowdfunded games including Psychonauts 2, Wasteland 3, Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch, Consortium: The Tower, Kingdoms and Castles, Make Sail and Trackless. In an infographic, Fig claims that their 78% campaign success rate was twice the success rate for all campaigns on a leading crowdfunding platform, and nearly five times the success rate for the video games category.
“The opportunity for fans to invest in the games they believe in opens up an entirely new narrative in the evolution of crowdfunding,” said Fig CEO Justin Bailey. “Fans on our platform have already demonstrated that they’re willing to invest over 20 times more money per person for equity over rewards. This creates an avenue of funding for independent games that has never existed before. In addition, our model is allowing investors to reduce content risk by finding out if there’s sufficient market demand through fan funding prior to completing development.”
Spark Capital and Greycroft led the round, with participation from Resolute Ventures, NextView Ventures, and Draft Ventures.
“Fig is singular in video games in that it is the first to allow fan investors to participate in the upside of a video game’s financial performance,” said Spark Capital’s Nabeel Hyatt, who was also the lead investor of Cruise Automation (acquired by General Motors for $1 billion). “Investors on Fig don’t have to wait for a company to be sold before they can reap returns, an occurrence that is rare and can take 7 to 10 years.”
“Interactive Entertainment is a $100 billion-a-year industry yet many talented, veteran teams are still constrained by lack of resources.” said Jon Goldman, Venture Partner of Greycroft and Partner at Skybound, the IP holders of The Walking Dead. “Fig provides a new avenue for funding that brings makers and players into an entirely new relationship, which should foster innovation and help this amazing creative industry grow even bigger.
Bailey added, “Looking forward, we’re exploring the possibility of amplifying the impact of fans even further by inviting institutional investors who have already expressed interest in our unique model to provide matching funds across our platform.”