The parent company of indie publisher Curve Digital, Catalis, has been bought by VC firm North Edge Capital.
Catalis has been acquired for £90m ($113m), £46.6m of which came from North Edge with the remaining sum coming from CEO Dominic Wheatley (pictured) and Vespa Capital. Catalis Group is comprised of indie label Curve, games developer Kuju and QA firm Testronic. This deal will see the testing arm opening a New Orleans outfit.
Catalis is under the control of a brand new venture called Project Sword Bidco, a new entity that's indirectly controlled by North Edge Capital.
“This is an important move for us. Bringing NorthEdge in to help us grow and continuing to enjoy the support of Vespa Capital is a strong endorsement from two private equity houses. Our ambition is to build the next major UK owned games business to rival those based in other parts of the world. We have the right team and financial backing to take Catalis to the next level," Catalis boss Wheatley said.
“The gaming industry has seen some remarkable growth in recent years, and we are on the cusp of a further explosion in their popularity made possible by streaming. Recent announcements by the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft will see the industry evolve even further now that these tech giants are investing heavily in this area. Streaming will allow gamers to access high resolution games attracting an ever greater audience and Catalis is well placed to benefit from this growth.”
The boss of North Edge's North West arm Phil Frame added: “We are pleased to complete the investment into Catalis and to be partnering with Dominic and team. They have an outstanding record of growth and have built a business of scale, operating on a global basis and with a first class reputation in the market.
“Gaming is now the largest entertainment market globally and the continued demand for content, the mainstreaming of gaming culture and investment from global technology operators will continue to drive growth. The Catalis team have demonstrated a strong understanding of the market dynamics and the model they have developed is ideally positioned to capitalise on this opportunity. This, combined with our existing track record in the video games sector through the successful investment in Sumo Digital, means we are excited about the future of Catalis.
“We look forward to working with the team at Catalis to further build on its international footprint, supporting its growth both organically and through acquisition. This strategy, which will commence with the imminent launch of a new site in New Orleans, will allow us to strengthen the company’s foothold in key markets such as Europe, North America, and Central America, and ultimately build market share in a sector valued at $135 billion-a-year.”
NorthEdge was previously involved in the MBO of Sheffield's Sumo Digital from US firm Foundation9 back in 2014, going on to exit the deal in 2016 ahead of the studio's IPO.