This topic is especially relevant within the domestic gaming ecosystem, because over the last two to three years we have witnessed a series of M&A (merger & acquisition) transfers between domestic companies and world-renowned, leading global players.
Among Serbian companies acquired by foreign capital, the most famous are the Novi Sad 3 Lateral (now part of Epic Games), their fellow citizens Eipix, which was bought by Russian Playrix and formed Playrix.rs, as well as the Novi Sad/Belgrade company Mad Head Games. Saber Interactive, or Embracer Group). Most recently, in the spring of 2021, the American company Take Two Interactive bought Serbian Nordeus, one of the most recognizable and most successful domestic mobile gaming companies.
What is particularly valuable in these transactions – although they are part of the global trend of “big ones” buying “the small ones” and thus gaining new IPs, employees and markets – is that none of these companies has been turned into an “outsourcing center” of their new parent company. They have been bought because of the originality of products and games they have developed thus far, and through these transfers they gain invaluable experience from the big players, better conditions for employees and numerous development opportunities, which leave a positive effect on the entire ecosystem .
There are, of course, smaller or lesser-known studios that go through similar processes, or would like to be in that situation. The reasons can be different: from the desire to “exit” due to saturation or transition to a new business adventure, or because of a wish to realize the full potential of the team and products developed which could not be realized with current equity or without other assets and/or technologies owned by a company acquiring another. In the case of Serbia, most often our companies are acquired by foreign ones, although there are exceptions in the opposite direction, but certainly not in the domain of the domestic gaming industry yet.
How the whole process works, what are the scenarios, what you should pay special attention to, what is due diligence and how to prepare for it in the first way, what are the negotiating positions – and much more, you will hear from representatives of our members and partners. Among them is the most eminent regional law office with a special focus on IT entrepreneurship and intellectual property (Karanovic & Partners), then one of the “Big 4” consulting companies that deal, among other things, with financial management and taxes (Deloitte Serbia), but also a representative of Mad Head Games, who from the point of view of an in-house legal advisor participated in the M&A transfer that this company went through. Kristina Šarenac will give a brief overview of what M&A looks like from the point of view of a lawyer employed by a company that sells a stake to another company, as well as the difference between in-house counseling and lawyers or consultants hired only for the M&A process.
This episode is a logical continuation of the previous one, in which we talked about receiving and raising investments, and the ways in which investors valorize the value of a company or product.
Game Funding Bootcamp is a new initiative of SGA that aims to address these challenges, and through a series of lectures and workshops that will be realized in the period between January and April 2022 to teams and companies from Serbia and the region, present various potential sources of funding, with the participation of domestic and international experts and a number of partner organizations.
HOW TO APPLY:
Interested participants (company representatives, interested individuals or professionals) should click the APPLY NOW button on this page. The application deadline is Monday, April 4th by the end of the day.
All program modules are FREE of charge for all full-time SGA members, i.e. those who pay the Start, Pro or Premium membership package (maximum two people per team / company). Associate members of the SGA (Free Membership) can attend 2 of the 5 modules of their choice (one person per team / company) free of charge.
Teams and companies from the Western Balkans can register one person free of charge, while each additional participant is charged. These scholarships are provided by the Reconomy project.
The full price is 50 EUR per person, per module. Payments can be made exclusively on the basis of invoices issued by SGA to legal entities (companies, organizations, or registered entrepreneurs), by bank transfer.
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The GFB program will be implemented through several hours of hybrid sessions (live and online) that are organized every two weeks starting from February 8, 2022. Each of them will be dedicated to one of the mentioned funding models, and this is the schedule that awaits you:
19.04. – Pitching + Negotiation skills practical workshop (live in Belgrade)
The SGA will promote each of the thematic modules separately, and you will be able to apply for them according to your specific interests or needs.
Game Funding Bootcamp program is implemented in cooperation with a number of SGA partners, including Help! Serbia (within the RECONOMY project), Swiss Entrepreneurship Program, Deloitte Serbia, Karanović & Partners and others, as well as numerous SGA members who will share their experiences so far. with interested game creators from across the region.