Istanbul-based Ludus Venture Studio has recently announced that it has invested in 3 different early-stage game studios in Turkey in the third quarter of 2021. Stating that they believe in the potential of the Turkish ecosystem in the game industry, the Ludus team said that they have no doubt that Turkey will continue to be one of the leading countries in the mobile game market, with its unique venture studio model.
Ludus Venture Studio invested more than $2.5 million in 5 companies in total, including Maestro, Paxie, and Stardust Games in Turkey, StageZero in Finland, and Monetizr in the USA.
Ludus was founded in early 2021 with a total startup funding of $30 million and has continued to seek new talent and new ideas since then. The company had previously made four investments, two from the Turkish ecosystem and two from the Southeast Asia (SEA) region. With 5 new investments, Ludus managed to increase the total number of investments to 9 in the first 9 months of 2021.
Ludus Venture Studio Managing Partner İsmet Gökşen said that they do not intend to slow down and that they will announce more investments, both locally and globally, in the near future. He added that they are always looking for new studios focusing on different genres and trending technologies and their aim is to expand their portfolio.
Companies that receive investment from Ludus are promising
Maestro Game Studio, founded by Orhan Veli Çetin, Ceyhun Kardaş, and Ege Baştürk, who previously worked in different companies in the advertising technology and e-commerce industries, received an investment of 500 thousand dollars from Ludus in the pre-seed investment tour and an additional 500 thousand dollars in marketing credit.
The Maestro team, which will focus on the hybrid category in mobile games, aims to improve their games in a short time with this new investment and to expand their team to take place in the rankings with these games. Founding Partner and CEO Orhan Veli Çetin said the following about the investment they received:
“We are passionate gamers and entrepreneurs. We believe it is possible to combine our gaming knowledge with our passion to create amazing and unique experiences for everyone. Ludus has been more than an investor for us with its experience and network in the gaming space. We are happy to collaborate with Ludus to achieve our goals.”
Stardust Games, another Turkish game studio invested by Ludus Venture Studio, was founded by Günay Özkan and Berkay Soyer and received 405 thousand dollars from Ludus in the pre-seed investment round. Günay Özkan has more than 10 years of experience in companies such as Ubisoft and Sony in the global game industry. Berkay Soyer led product management teams at companies such as Armut, Trendyol, and Letgo.
Co-Founder and CTO Günay Özkan made the following comments about the new investment:
“As Stardust Games, we aim to become one of the leading game studios in the industry by developing fun and globally successful mobile games that will be played and remembered for years to come. The investment process with Ludus has been a very instructive experience for us and it is very motivating to have their support by our side going forward.”
The last Turkish game studio to receive investment from Ludus was Paxie Games. Paxie Games raised a total of $1 million in its first investment round. Alfa Game Partners and some angel investors also participated in the tour led by Ludus.
Paxie Games team, founded by Direnç Çelik, Hüseyin Anıl Özmen, Refik Anıl Bulut and Sare Başel, has experience in both mobile gaming and mobile advertising. The Paxie team will use this investment to grow their team and make games in the casual game category.
Paxie Games Co-Founder and CEO, Direnç Çelik, said the following about the investment:
“There are 4 main key roles in game development; software, visual design, product development, and marketing. As the 4 founders of Paxie Games, we have experience in these roles. We will combine this power with Ludus to develop casual games that will become a part of the daily lives of millions of people and meet the needs and expectations of the players. In addition to conveying its experience in the industry, Ludus helps us in every aspect so that our team can only focus on game development, enabling us to work much faster and more effectively.”
As we mentioned above, Ludus Venture Studio closed two more investments abroad in the third quarter, in addition to the last 3 investments it made in Turkey. Ludus, which took part in the latest investment round of Finland-based artificial intelligence data company StageZero, led by Konvoy Ventures, also took part in the last investment round of Monetizr, which focuses on American-based in-game reward systems, alongside Alfabeat, UpTech Fund, and Berkeley Angel Network.
Ludus also stated that they have always wanted to keep good relations with global game-oriented investors since the day it was founded and that they are very happy to be side by side with these companies in their latest investments.