A mobile games firm launched during COVID-19 has been backed with £2.5 million funding from ITV.
During lockdown Live Tech Games, which is based in London, provided company-specific games to help HR departments connect with remote workforces.
Co-founders Sam Worsley and Nathan Moore met three years ago while working for Microsoft on its graduate scheme and had always dreamed of running their own business, taking the “difficult” decision to leave the tech giant once they had their idea.
Their initial idea was to partner with the likes of bars, restaurants, concert venues and football clubs, which would offer the free five-minute games to customers and stump up their own prize, such as a chance to meet the artist, for example.
They started developing the tech in September 2019 and had started to make themselves known in the venues when lockdown hit, forcing a change of plans.
Roshambo Live is a free digital rock, paper, scissors tournament. As well as the private company games, its core offering sees players go head-to-head nationwide in live knockout rounds, with a prize of £1,000 for the ultimate champion three times a week.
ITV said the firm – which raised £1m funding as recently as April – is pioneering a new wave of mobile entertainment, creating live, player-vs-player, short-form games to bring the public together.
It is one of three companies from the Studio 55 Ventures programme – a collaboration with strategy and innovation firm Founders Intelligence which is aimed at materially enhancing ITV’s reach amongst 16-34-year-olds – to win investment.
Each of the successful brands applied through the scheme and was given an intense programme of training and mentoring, plus access to ITV’s network of strategic assets and contacts.
This culminated in a pitch for long-term investment to ITV CEO Dame Carolyn McCall, alongside top UK entrepreneurs Graham Cooke (founder and CEO of Qubit, the Goldman Sachs-backed AI personalisation tool) and Brent Hoberman (CBE, co-founder of lastminute.com, made.com and Founders Forum, the parent organisation of Founders Intelligence).
Metavision is an agency and studio bringing entertainment IP and brands to the Metaverse – the emerging virtual spaces driving a fundamental shift in how we engage with others and consume content online. It will lead the expansion of ITV’s IP and brand partners into Metaverse platforms, as well as driving the group’s long-term strategy around the convergence of gaming and entertainment in these spaces.
Woo is a wellbeing-driven media platform, lifestyle brand and marketplace which reimagines wellness for Generation Z, making solutions for mental health and wellbeing relatable, aspirational and culturally relevant.
Dan Colton, Group Strategy and Transformation Director at ITV, said: “When we launched Studio 55 Ventures we set out to find business propositions that could increase our engagement with 16-34-year-olds by leveraging ITV’s globally recognised IP and our unparalleled commercial audiences.
“I’m thrilled that we’re able to bring the ambitious entrepreneurs behind Live Tech Games, Metavision and Woo into the ITV fold.”