Veteran game investor Jon Goldman has raised a $50 million venture capital fund dubbed Tower 26 to invest in extended reality startups.
The firm will invest in virtual reality games and related areas like the metaverse, metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
The fund is named after the Tower 26 lifeguard tower in Venice, California. Goldman went there frequently during the pandemic to make calls and work while the tower was out of service. It’s where he got to do some thinking. (Goldman is going to moderate a panel on VR gaming at our GamesBeat Summit 2022 event on April 26 to April 28).
“I got to do calls there all day long, and it was pleasant part of the experience,” he said.
Goldman is still managing director (actually Formagio Grande) at Skybound, the maker of The Walking Dead franchise and other entertainment. He is also a board partner at Greycroft and runs the GC Tracker Fund, his earlier fund that is now in its late stages. That position gives him visibility across multiple industries, but he uses the smaller funds to focus on passions like VR.
Before going into investing, Goldman was a founder, chairman, and CEO of Foundation 9 Entertainment, the largest independent videogame developer in the world at the time with 11 studios and 1,000 employees. He sold the company in 2006. Foundation 9’s studios created hundreds of video games based on top-tier global brands such as Star Wars, The Matrix, The Simpsons, and Lord of the Rings.
“I’ve got a lot of different things going on, which can help me be an effective venture partner or a partner to portfolio companies. I’m still active in entertainment and still active in video games,” he said.
He sees the performance of VR titles at Skybound and has a lot of connections for his CEOs and their teams.
“It turns out that when you help people early in their careers, it turns out that it is good for you too,” he said. “Supporting entrepreneurs for 20 years or so has been like a pay-it-forward thing.”
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