Our Investment in SkyVu / Battle Bears – Taking Mobile Games Into New Territory

We’re pleased to announced NextView’s investment in SkyVu Entertainment, along with Lightbank and angel investors.  SkyVu is a mobile game company best known for their hit franchise BATTLE BEARS… a series of shooter type games that are action-oriented with an edgy theme, that still remain kid/teen friendly in terms of content.

There are countless mobile game studios out there, and we’ve looked at our fair share of gaming opportunities here at NextView.  What made SkyVu stand out was that they already had significant traction before seeking institutional funding (18M+ downloads, seven figure revenue, etc).  The company isn’t simply a game developer, but is pushing the artistic and technical boundaries of what a “mobile” game experience can be.  For example Battle Bears Royale is a real-time, 3D, multiplayer shooter game than can be played on 3/4G cell networks.  And SkyVu’s team is creating a truly cross-platform company… they built the first plug-in for in-app purchases on Android/Unity and made it available to other developers.

We also share SkyVu founder/CEO Ben Vu’s vision of the future of mobile gaming.  As I blogged recently, to us “mobile” is in some ways a misnomer of a broader phenomenon of ubiquitous computing.  Ubiquitous computing is creating more gamers overall, and increasing the amount of time, the types of devices, and the contexts in which we play games.  As the adoption of these devices continues rapidly, and the computing power and network capability increases dramatically, mobile gaming (already a multibillion dollar industry) will catch up with the scale of other gaming platforms like consoles and PCs.  It will also create unique, new opportunities for gaming companies by blurring the distinction of console vs mobile… imagine sitting on the couch with a few family members or friends where you can all be playing or spectating games across tablets or smartphones in your hand and the big TV on the wall.  And “mobile” gaming won’t just be limited to simple 2D, turn-based casual games (e.g. Words With Friends) – SkyVu and others have been pioneering real-time, 3D, and new (for mobile) genres that appeal not just to casual but also core and mid-core gamers.

We’re excited to partner with Ben and the whole SkyVu team, as they continue to build the company and truly take multiplayer mobile games to new heights.

Lee Hower

I’m an investor, entrepreneur, and helper of technology startups. I’m currently a General Partner of NextView Ventures, an investment firm focused on seed stage internet-enabled businesses.  I co-founded NextView in 2010 with my partner Rob Go and David Beisel. I started in the VC business as a Principal at Point Judith Capital, an early-stage firm.  I joined PJC in 2005 and served as a Principal at the firm through early 2010.  During this time I co-led investments in FanIQ, Sittercity, and Multiply and sourced investments in Music Nation and NABsys. Prior to becoming a VC, I was a startup guy myself.  I was part of the founding team of LinkedIn, and served as Director of Corporate Development from the company’s inception through our early growth phases. Before that I was an early employee at PayPal, and worked in product management and corporate development roles through the company’s IPO in 2002 and subsequent sale to eBay later that year. I went to college at UPenn, and received degrees from both the School of Engineering and Wharton School of Business.

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