I interviewed Kristian Segerstrale, CoFounder Initial Capital @Gamesbeat.  Kristian spoke about Initial Capital which is a Seed Investment Fund & is a collection of entrepreneurs who’ve had multiple successful companies in the past.  He was a CoFounder Glu Mobile, a public games company & he was CEO/CoFounder Playfish which sold to Electronic Arts. Initial Capital focuses on game companies & consumer internet companies who need help growing the company from the start. They try & find like minded companies & really help them from product & marketing to technology or M&A or further financing. They think capital is a commodity & that it is the skills that are needed for early stage companies. His advice for anyone fundraising, whether games or any other industry is “Treat fundraising like a recruitment exercise!  Think about what skill sets you want on board & get money in from people you think will bring  those skill sets to the table.” He feels he is a Seed Investor rather than a Venture Capitalist, more a CoFounder inside companies & they dont take outside money they invest their own money.  They dont have any LPs to explain a long term investment strategy to so they really can partner with the entrepreneur & really focus on the long term.  They invested in SuperCell which is the largest IOS games company in the world today. He feels the startup ecosystem is globalizing very rapidly because barriers to entry, what it takes to set up a successful company, are coming down anywhere in the world.  He built his first 2 ventures out of London & Supercell was built out of Finland which is also his home country. He feels the startup ecosystems around London, Helsinki & Berlin are actually beginning to rival Silicon Valley.  Not necessarily in depth in terms of sheer amount of startups or capital deployed, but in specific areas, like games. In specific verticals you get expertise in other places also. Initial Capital feel that Silicon Valley is not the be all & end all of everything & most of their team is in London. He is based in Silicon Valley but is also frequently in Finland so they are really investing across the full access of Europe & the US. He feels that Europe has changed a lot for raising investment.  There has been development of international funds like Index & Atomico Ventures who are comfortable investing at an early & late stage as well.  There are also a set of Seed Funds from entrepreneurs who have been successful in the past who are keen to team up with early stage entrepreneurs & help them get going & supply them with first capital.  He feels that it is important for European entrepreneurs who are successful go back into the game & help new startups.

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About the author

Pemo Theodore is a Media Publisher & Event Producer. She is Executive Producer of Smart Money Silicon Valley: Network with & Learn from Silicon Valley Investors! NoPanels: Engage Directly with Investors & Industry Leaders; VCHangout: hangout with Investors! & PitchPerfect Silicon Valley: Craft your Pitch & Slide Deck for Funding! & Silicon Valley TV: Broadcasting Silicon Valley to the World! & Avion Global: Launching Diverse Mobile & IOT Startups Globally! & VC Spotlight: Spotlight on Investors! & FinTech Week Silicon Valley. She video interviews venture capitalists & angel investors EZebis: Winning the Venture Game! She is based in Silicon Valley. She has been involved in online business for 10 years. She has been in small business for 39 years in Ireland, London, Canada & Australia. She also published a free ebook (the findings of 1 year research with vcs, angels & women founders) "Why are Women Funded Less than Men? a crowdsourced conversation" available on Scribd.

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