Company officials have announced the formation of GCube Ventures, a new venture capital firm from former THQ VP Shiraz Akmal and global investment manager Jawad Ansari, which they say will invest in "evolutionary and disruptive business models" for the games industry.
Akmal (pictured) said that as what he calls "the first VC firm focusing on the global videogame industry," GCube would "help develop extraordinary ideas into world class businesses, and support much needed industry entrepreneurship and innovation."
The company told VC weblog Venture Beat
that it hopes to look beyond traditional investing opportunities, which usually focus on developers or publishers, to other parts of the industry including digital game distribution, game development schools, middleware tools, and the convergence of games and social networks.
According to Ansari, the company will announce its first investment deals in the upcoming weeks. He added that GCube will have strategic partners and strategic co-investors, which will include traditional venture capitalists as well as big media companies. The firm will concentrate on the U.S. and Asian markets.
The company notes that Akmal has served two decades in the games industry, building production studios in the U.S. and Asia and managing and directing teams behind franchise titles including Scooby-Doo, The Incredibles, and SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as founding THQ's External Development Group outsourcing initiative.
Ansari boasts 15 years of investment management experience, having founded Miven Venture Partners, a $100 million fund targeting media and consumer investments. He also previously founded and served as CEO of Corporate Metrix, a diversified VC firm managing $3 billion of assets.
"We understand the industry from both perspectives -- the entrepreneur's and the investors," he added in a statement. "Our firm will support the industry's growth by investing in its untapped potential throughout the entire game 'ecosystem.' We are investing in both evolutionary and disruptive business models. The game industry is becoming the dominant form of entertainment and we are positioned to become the pre-eminent global video game investment firm of choice.