A new games-focused VC in Turkey shows the industry there continues to gain steam

Turkey has gained a well-deserved reputation as a veritable cauldron of mobile gaming startups, leading to the rise of venture capital firms dedicated to the sector. The latest to join this coterie is Laton Ventures, a new gaming-focused venture capitalist that has raised a $35 million fund. Founding Partner – and Solo GP – Görkem Türk says it aims to build a bridge between the Turkish gaming ecosystem and the rest of the world, by investing in the pre-seed and seed stages. The fund is legally domiciled in the Netherlands.

As an emerging market with a young population, Turks have devoured mobile games as fast as they can be produced, giving rise to more than 740 gaming startups. More than 48% of Turkey’s 86 million people are under the age of 30, and more than 92% of internet users play games in Turkey, compared to a global average of 82%.

Indeed, between 2018 and 2022, Turkish gaming start-ups have raised more than $1 billion in funding.

Certainly, Laton has some competition. There are now at least 25 venture capital funds investing in video game startups based in Turkey. That said, most also invest in other technology sectors.

Türk, a former head of gaming and startups at Google, told me on a call that Laton plans to differentiate itself by focusing on operational consulting with its portfolio companies.

“We position ourselves as a bridge between the booming Turkish gaming ecosystem and the international gaming ecosystem. Second, we will double our operational support in areas such as user acquisition, game design, cohort analysis, development, and more. We are supported by over 20 outgoing founders. That really sets us apart,” he said.

The fund has already invested in five companies over the past six months: two in Turkey, two in Europe and one in the United States, and plans to leverage its network of seasoned industry advisors.

To that end, Laton’s LPs include Mehmet Ecevit, co-founder of Gram Games; Mert Gür, founder of Loop Games; Mert Can Kurum, founder of Ruby Games; Fırat İleri, Managing Partner of Hummingbird Ventures; Nevzat Aydın, founder of Yemeksepeti and Eric Kress, founder of Gossamer.


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