Jagex announces surprise investment round

Jagex announces surprise investment round

By Rob Crossley

February 8th 2011 at 12:02PM

VC funds bring in four new board members

UK studio Jagex has made an unexpected agreement with a number of VC firms to help fund future projects.

The Cambridge-based developer is the UK’s largest independent, and has built a passionate online user-base amounting to millions. It is also a regular recruiter of new talent, and recently established its own publishing business. In 2009 the firm’s turnover was put at £32.2 million.

Jagex was presumed to be cash-rich enough to fund future projects in line with the studio’s standards and scale of ambition. That may still be the case, though it is now unclear.

The developer has accepted new funds from three VC groups; Insight Venture Partners, Spectrum Equity Investors and The Raine Group.

The price of the investment, in terms of cash and equity, was not revealed.

Jagex will now have four more heads on its board of directors.

From Spectrum Equity comes Chris Mitchell and Jim Quagliaroli, while The Raine Group has appointed Brandon Gardner and John Salter to the table.

Insight Venture Partners, whose new investment is not its first for Jagex, keeps Jeff Horing and Alex Crisses as directors of the company.

Mark Gerhard keeps his job as CEO, Jagex said.

“Insight has been part of the Jagex family for a number of years and it has been a real pleasure to serve alongside them on the Jagex board”, said Gerhard.

“Both Spectrum and Raine bring a wealth of expertise and it gives me great delight to be able to welcome them to the Jagex team. It’s a great privilege to serve alongside such esteemed individuals and their wider organisations.”

Gerhard said the investment will be “hugely benefit both the Jagex team and our loyal community and I’m confident that Jagex will continue to go from strength to strength. I fully expect that the collective experience of the shareholder base will be highly advantageous as we embark on our next chapter of growth.”

Jagex became the UK’s largest independent studio following the breakthrough success of its flagship game RuneScape, an MMO which in 2009 was said to service over 100 million players.

The studio had aborted plans for the game’s follow-up, Mechscape, though it is believed some of the game’s assets and tech will still be used in future projects.