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Ask HN: Any Angels/VCs interested in a board gaming tech startup?
3 points by mcu on Nov 30, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments
Over the summer I decided that it was time to try bootstrapping a company. It was slow going at first: designing the product, building the team, etc... But, over the past three months things have been accelerating quickly.

This week, out of the blue, we received an acquisition offer.

It's a good one, but, we're pre-launch and we really want to see what we can do outside of the confines of a more established company. If we're going to continue, it might be time to start exploring funding options.

We have a fantastic team composed of programmers, designers, and writers/videographers with strong ties to our industry.

Our tech team is already open sourcing parts of our framework and our media team has an audience of close to 100,000 for their board game review show/blog.

Does anyone know of an Angel or VC with a soft spot for modern board games?

Could you ask them to get in touch?


Firstly you need to look at the commercials of what you're working on. How big is the market and how much money can you make from it ? - can you grow from your current valuation 10x in the next 3-5 years ? - as that's what an investor is going to be looking for.

To start with I'd look at how many modern board gamers there are (also the rate at which that market is growing/shrinking), what percentage are going to be in your target market and at how much they'd be willing to spend on your product (assuming it's saas, if it's ad driven do the similar calculation based upon ad views).

Angellist has a lot of categorization data on angels so I'd recommend exploring that for angels that might be a good match with you. Starting the conversation with the fact that you've had an acquisition offer but want to looking at raising funding as an alternative will probably help you get attention.

If you want to remain independent you should also speak with your potential acquirer and see if that would be an option for them (i.e. either they fund you or alternatively acquire you but let you continue to run as a completely independent company.)

Very helpful for everyone trying to find investors. Thanks.

But I think angellist is not even 'active' anymore. It takes 20-30 seconds to open the main page. The whole site is completely bugged (a LOT of buttons don't do anything, etc). I've been trying to complete my profile there - the site is bugged to the point of being useless.

They might have a soft spot for modern board games, but that isn't going to get them to invest. The investment will come based on cold hard numbers, given that someone who knows boardgames may be LESS likely to invest. Jeff Bezos when starting Amazon was turned down by everyone he talked with associated with the book industry.

You need to to get into high gear, get a plan together and just start cold calling VC's. HIRE someone to craft your plan/pitch if you need to.

They'll invest because you lay out. Boardgames are a $750 million market, closely related to the $2.25 billion casual gaming market.

And oh yea, we just got an acquistion offer.

Also consider the acquisition, if it's worth considering you'll get the money for your next venture and learn things and build a track record for your next thing.

What are some examples of 'modern board games', or 'board gaming tech'? The terms seem vague.

Twilight Imperium, Lords of Water Deep, The Settlers of Catan. Games that you would find at http://boardgamegeek.com/

Board gaming is a hobby that is innately social, we're building a mobile app and platform for board gamers.

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