SOURCE: GCube Ventures

July 09, 2008 11:00 ET

Global Game Industry Leader and International Investment Powerhouse Join Forces to Form First Game Focused Investment Firm

Shiraz Akmal and Jawad Ansari Launch GCube Ventures, Dedicated to Growing and Transforming the Global Game Industry

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - July 9, 2008) - Former THQ executive Shiraz Akmal and global investment manager Jawad Ansari announced today the launch of a new investment firm, GCube Ventures. GCube is the first stage-agnostic investment firm to focus solely on the global game industry, one of the fastest-growing markets. The firm's initial focus is on opportunities in the U.S. and Asia.

GCube's Managing Directors represent unparalleled experience in the interactive entertainment and private equity/venture capital areas. GCube injects capital into its portfolio companies, and also provides value-added resources and strategic ongoing guidance -- acting as a "growth-engine" for promising companies. GCube provides its portfolio companies with an end-to-end business platform, which includes best-in-class human capital, cutting-edge business intelligence, industry-leading expertise, and a strong global co-investor network.

Shiraz Akmal is a 20-year videogame veteran and an industry visionary. Akmal has built videogame production studios in the U.S. and Asia. He has managed global production teams in the hundreds and has directed numerous multi-million selling videogames including Warner Bros. "Scooby-Doo!," Disney/Pixar's "The Incredibles," and Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob." Akmal pioneered the game outsourcing field by founding THQ's XDG (External Development Group). After 9 years, he leaves THQ as VP of Operations and Product Development to launch GCube Ventures.

"As the first VC firm focusing on the global videogame industry, we intend to open new doors, help develop extraordinary ideas into world class businesses, and support much needed industry entrepreneurship and innovation," said Akmal. "We believe the combination of our extensive domain knowledge, global co-investor network and industry relationships will fuel the rapid expansion of this market."

Jawad Ansari brings more than 15 years of investment management experience and strong global relationships to GCube. Ansari is the founder and former General Partner of Miven Venture Partners, a $100M fund focused on media and consumer investments in the US, China, and India. Ansari is also the founder and former Chairman & CEO of Corporate Metrix, a diversified investment firm with assets under management of $3 billion. He has built deep relationships with leading venture capital funds, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment banks, and institutional investors.

"We understand the industry from both perspectives -- the entrepreneur's and the investors. Our firm will support the industry's growth by investing in its untapped potential throughout the entire game 'ecosystem.' We are investing in both evolutionary and disruptive business models," said Ansari. "The game industry is becoming the dominant form of entertainment and we are positioned to become the pre-eminent global videogame investment firm of choice.

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