Ukrainian Jarvi Games raised ＄3M in funding… From a Russian fund
Ukrainian game development studio Jarvi Games raised ＄3M to finance its open-world mobile game Vice Online. The round was led by Play Ventures with participation from Velo Partners and The Games Fund, Venture Beat reports. The editorial office of AIN.Capital tells the details.
As AIN.Capital managed to find out, The Games Fund is a Russian fund. However, in an interview with a Western publication, co-founder of Jarvi, who has not left Ukraine and is forced to work under constant shelling from the Russian side, did not mention this for some reason.
It is also important to note that the person who previously worked for 8 years at Russian Game Insight and SberGames, Dmytro Gladilin, is managing the hiring of artists and designers for the company. What position he holds at Jarvi and whether he is a shareholder is currently unknown.
- The head office of Jarvi Games is located in Cyprus, but the development team of 30 people is located in Ukraine. Back in the summer this year there were only 10 of them.
- Previously, employees worked remotely from different cities of Ukraine, and the development office was located in Kharkiv. But after the start of the full-scale invasion, most left for Warsaw and now work from abroad.
- The company was founded in 2021 by Dmytro Burnos, Oleksandr Lysenko, Igor Lysenko, and Serhiy Hrynenko. The founders previously worked at Voodoo and Lion Studios in the hyper-casual game segment.
- Jarvi Games’ flagship product is Vice Online, an open-world mobile action game inspired by GTA Online. In the game, up to 60 players can play in the same city, filled with a wide range of luxury cars, boats, planes, or various weapons to choose from.
- Vice Online debuted in open beta in the summer of 2022 in Turkey and Brazil. Since then, the game has generated over 8 million downloads, was the #1 app in Brazil for several days with 250,000 organic downloads per day, and maintained 40,000 concurrent users at its peak.
- Thanks to the new round of investment, the studio plans to significantly improve the visuals, gameplay, and content for Vice Online, as well as launch it worldwide by the end of 2023.
- Last year, Jarvi Games attracted $500,000 from The Games Fund. The fund also joined a new $3 million round. Although the fund is posing as American, in fact all its partners — Maria Kormola, Ilya Yeremeev, Serhii Titov, and others — are Russians.