Griffin Gaming Partners Closes Massive $750 Million Fund Focused on Booming Gaming Sector

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

​The team at Griffin Gaming Partners.
Courtesy of Griffin Gaming Partners

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Griffin Gaming Partners has closed a new $750 million fund that ranks as one of the largest venture funds solely focused on the fast-growing gaming sector.

The Santa Monica-based venture capital firm said Monday that the new fund was oversubscribed, meaning that investors offered more money than it was seeking. Griffin now has more than $1 billion in assets under management after previously raising a $235 million fund in 2020 to back gaming companies.

The global video game industry saw staggering growth during the pandemic and has now become larger than movies and North American sports combined. Gaming revenues are expected to surpass $218 billion by 2024, according to research from Newzoo, which noted that 3 billion people—more than a third of the world’s population—now play video games.

“It's an exciting bellwether for the trajectory of the industry,” Griffin managing partner Peter Levin said of the $750 million fund.

Griffin Gaming Partners\u2019 Phil Sanderson, Peter Levin and Nick Tuosto.Griffin Gaming Partners’ Phil Sanderson, Peter Levin and Nick Tuosto.Courtesy of Griffin Gaming Partners

Levin told dot.LA that the new fund will allow the firm to invest in companies across all stages and provide Griffin with the capacity to hand out larger checks and continue its strategy of investing globally. He added that it will not be a “spray-and-pray” fund with dozens of companies in its portfolio at any given time. “We'll keep it at a [conservative] number, probably somewhere around 20, with perhaps a bucket of very early seed stage companies,” he said. Levin declined to share the new fund’s investors.

Griffin was founded in 2019 by managing directors Levin, Phil Sanderson and Nick Tuosto, who are “passionate gamers” with decades of investing, advising and operating experience in the games industry, according to the firm. Investment bank LionTree is a strategic partner of Griffin’s.

The venture firm invests in a broad range of gaming companies including content, software infrastructure, social platforms and gaming-related Web3 companies, as well as those that use blockchain technology. Notable Griffin investments include messaging platform Discord, mobile gaming studio Spyke and blockchain gaming platform Forte.

Locally, Griffin has backed local firms such as Irvine-based game developer Frost Giant, Los Angeles-based virtual concert platform Wave and game development technology company N3twork.

The Griffin team said it reviews over 1,300 qualified investment opportunities per year to inform perspectives on growth, retention, and monetization. By seeing that many opportunities a year, “we get a bird's eye view into the industry and what it will take to succeed in the next phase of interactive entertainment across platforms, genres and demographics,” Griffin managing director Phil Sandersom said in a statement.

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