BizPunkMitch Lasky's blog

July 23, 2014

Meet Benchmark’s New Partner: Eric Vishria

Business

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January 30, 2014

Zynga Acquires NaturalMotion

Business

After market close today, Zynga announced that it was acquiring Benchmark portfolio company NaturalMotion for $527MM in cash and stock.

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September 18, 2013

Cyanogen Mod

Business

Cyanogen, Inc. has announced its $7MM Series A financing, led by Benchmark.

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June 13, 2013

Should Venture Capital Fund Games Companies?

Business

Kim-Mai Cutler wrote an interesting piece in Techcrunch this week about venture financing and the games business. Greatly simplified, her main thesis is that venture capital may not be the best vehicle for financing video game companies. In general, I agree with her – for the vast majority of game companies. But not all games companies.

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March 25, 2013

EA and the Future

Business

It is interesting to think about EA’s assets and the current state of the digital game economy in light of the challenges a new leader at EA might face.

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March 02, 2013

2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

Business

I love this conference (for my take on last year's SSAC, click here). I have zero professional connection to the world of sports business or analytics, and I rarely discover anything investable here, but I still find this two-day affair one of the most thought provoking and fascinating on my calendar.

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February 09, 2013

Snapchat

Business

In an article that appeared today Snapchat announced that Benchmark has led their Series A financing. I will be joining the board of directors, alongside founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.

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November 06, 2012

DeanBeat/OnLive

Business

The always-insightful Dean Takahashi wrote a long piece on The DeanBeat yesterday about the fall of OnLive. As the Series A investor in one of OnLive’s rivals, Gaikai, I was a pretty active observer of OnLive and of the cloud gaming market generally. I think Dean provides a thorough – if somewhat gentle – overview of the facts of OnLive’s collapse and his piece is totally worth reading.

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July 01, 2012

Sony acquires Gaikai for $380MM

Business

Today Sony announced an agreement to acquire Benchmark portfolio company Gaikai for $380MM in cash. In just four years, Gaikai built a revolutionary cloud technology platform for gaming. To see console-quality games streamed from the cloud to browsers, tablets and TV is truly magical.

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June 21, 2012

NaturalMotion

Business

Today Benchmark announced an $11MM investment in NaturalMotion, a publisher of 3D games for mobile devices. I am joining NaturalMotion's board of directors. Many people in the packaged-goods games business know NaturalMotion from their Euphoria and Morpheme 3D animation engines, which have been used in high-end console games to produce incredibly realistic character animation (if you've played Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption, for example, you've seen this in action).

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June 14, 2012

thatgamecompany

Business

If you've played Journey from Jenova Chen's thatgamecompany (TGC) you know you have experienced something strange and magical, something that feels totally unique and yet fun and full of the pleasures that games can deliver (and if you haven't played it, and you own a PS3, stop reading this post and go download it). If you've also played Flower and Flow, you know that Jenova is one of the most ambitious and creative forces in games.

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June 06, 2012

Investing in Content

Business

The other day, a friend sent me an introduction to a game company with a note saying, in effect, "I thought you might be interested in this since you invest in content."

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March 05, 2012

Sports Analytics: MIT Sloan Conference Impressions

Business

The fascinating MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference which took place in Boston this weekend (and which I had the privilege to attend) is known affectionately by its attendees as "Dork-palooza" -- a celebration of the number crunchers and obsessive compulsive fans of sports statistics. Panelists, researchers, and attendees discussed a wide variety of topics with a very ambitious goal: to change the way we watch and measure team, individual, and business performance in sport.

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February 28, 2012

Meteor, Hawken, and Free-to-Play Gaming

Business

Benchmark Capital has announced an investment in Meteor Entertainment, the publishing company that will bring the amazing mech shooter Hawken to market, together with Adhesive Studios, later this year.

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February 05, 2011

Riot Games & Tencent

Business

As was widely reported yesterday, the Chinese internet giant Tencent has agreed to acquire a majority of the capital stock of Los Angeles-based Riot Games, a Benchmark portfolio company. The transaction is a huge validation of Riot's meteoric rise to prominence in the online game business. CEO Brandon Beck, his co-founder Marc Merrill and the team at Riot have executed their business plan brilliantly, and the Tencent transaction now gives them a global platform to continue to disrupt the video game business for years to come. Congratulations!

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January 14, 2010

Packaged Goods

Business

I got a lot of feedback about my EA post. Since this blog is normally read by around 50 people, I welcome the new visitors. But because many people are here for the first time with no context, I think it's important that I try to distinguish the forest from the trees.

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January 12, 2010

EA’s Miss

Business

After the bell today, EA announced a massive miss for their fiscal year, reducing revenue and earnings per share expectations. CFO Eric Brown also said in a conference call that they expect the packaged goods business to be flat to down for Fiscal 2011.

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May 14, 2009

Risky

Business

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April 22, 2009

A Costly Price War

Business

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April 17, 2009

Strat Planning

Business

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