Two entrepreneurs who are creating a new marketplace for online gamers have secured a £200,000 investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.
The funding will allow Alex Booth and Nick Gillett to bring their idea to market. Player Lands, which will be based in Nottingham, will allow gamers with no previous experience of e-commerce to open online stores and sell the content they create or find while playing. The system will tap into the growing global market for in-game downloads and aims to become the leading e-commerce platform of its type.
Alex, a serial entrepreneur who also has a yacht and private jet hire business, came up with the idea after working as a consultant in the gaming industry. He joined forces with Nick, an angel investor and founder of London-based digital agency C360 which he sold in 2006. They set up Transaction Technologies in 2016 to pursue the idea.
Player Lands will offer customers a secure and straightforward way to buy content for their favourite games. It will give shopkeepers their own customisable store, together with tools to manage inventory, market their products and run promotions, while also providing detailed reporting to help them increase sales. The platform will be secure, easy-to-use and provide a safe environment for children as well as more seasoned players. It will use blockchain technology to create a completely transparent public ledger for each item traded.
Alex Booth, CEO of Transaction Technologies, said:
“This is an incredibly exciting time to be involved with the games industry, which despite its enormous size is still growing fast. We want to give gamers the opportunity to capitalise on their hard work in-game, letting them trade the items they've found or won for real cash. The investment from Mercia is going to help us bring the idea to market quickly and with the technical excellence this market demands.”
Dr Sandy Reid, Investment Manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said:
“The worldwide market for downloadable in-game content is growing rapidly and already dwarfs the income from pay-to-play games. However, it is served by mostly low-level e-commerce providers and content creators are struggling to find platforms that offer the professionalism and service that they need. The funding will enable Alex and Nick to put their idea into practice and fill this gap in the market. We feel there is a real opportunity for Player Lands to become the leading platform of its type in the coming years.”
Lewis Stringer, MEIF Senior Relationship Manager at the British Business Bank, commented:
“The innovative nature of Transaction Technologies is testament to the thriving creative and digital content sector across the Midlands. It’s great to see finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund being deployed in such exciting, early-stage technologies, and we look forward to Alex and Nick making a success of this forward-thinking concept.”
Lindsay Wetton, Senior Programme Manager for Business Engagement at the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Creative and digital businesses, such as Transaction Technologies, form an integral part of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire economy. With help from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and its Growth Hub is working to ensure that businesses across its area are given the support that they need to grow, succeed and flourish.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.