The three big questions we at LVP face is what will be the next big platform in the game sector, when is the best time to invest in it and which team is the best one to back. VR is all the rage now but large scale content revenues are still years away. AR is interesting but still too early to see material cashflows. And then there are robots........
This was not a concept our team was considering at all. In fact, hardware on its own is not something we would have thought about a few years ago either. But after getting contacted by two separate people respected by our team about a startup based in Bristol, UK, then we decided we had better take a look. We met Silas, the CEO and Co-Founder, of Reach Robotics and were very impressed. Silas was smart, focussed, passionate and determined and his product demo was fascinating. He was building a product called MekaMon with both hardware and software platforms. By combining Augmented Reality, Games and Robots, MekaMon is a product that is basically Robots fighting each other while controlled by users with smartphones.
The team had just come back from San Diego where they were the best company (out of 10) at the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator. They had raised some money from Qualcomm, Techstars (which ran the accelerator), Kima Ventures, Hardware Club and some angel investors. We had another meeting with the team and started doing some due diligence.
A few weeks later, David Gardner, one of my partners, and I were in Tokyo for meetings and were introduced to a IoT accelerator there that the owners had invested over $10 million in. It was the dream place for any hardware startup with almost every possible machine or tool that a hardware company would need. Plus we also visited Akihabara which is an area of Tokyo which is heaven for gadget geeks. Just imagine a place filled with stores selling almost every possible gadget, robot, computer, phone or other type of consumer electronics. This is it. We also met with some of Japan's largest game companies some of which also have toy or other consumer electronic businesses. The insight we took away from this trip was that Japan on its own could be a huge market for MekaMon.
After multiple discussions with Silas and his team, we were delighted that the Reach team chose LVP to lead the seed round alongside Passion Capital, iGlobe Partners and Hardware Club. This funding round closed in early 2016. Many thanks to Soo Boon at iGlobe for the introduction to Silas. The company is hiring for a number of jobs which you can view here. The office is based in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory which is the largest robotics lab in Europe.
See below for the MekaMon launch video:
MekaMon is now available to buy now here