In October 2022, Bloomberg reported Apollo Global Management Inc. poured $500 million into billionaire private equity founder Brian Sheth’s Haveli Investments and now many in the PE space are wondering: What’s next for Brian Sheth and the 2-year-old Haveli?
In a word: growth. In a press release announcing the deal, Apollo, which has $515 billion of assets under management, said the monies would go toward scaling Haveli, which currently has a workforce of 40.
“We chose to partner with Apollo, an industry leader and a highly complementary platform, to help accelerate our growth. We look forward to working with them to grow our business and generate success for all of our stakeholders,” Sheth said.
And if 2022 is any indication, Haveli will be going full steam ahead into the tech sector. In September, Brian Sheth’s Haveli Investments revealed it would be raising $3 billion for a software-dedicated private equity fund.
Haveli Investments also led a second round of fundraising for Omeda Studios, in which it successfully raised $20 million for the video game startup. This is a significant jump from 2021’s $2.2 million acquisition. Omeda Studios created the fast-paced game Predecessor. The London-based studio had more than 100,000 sign-ups regarding interest in the game, which is still in development.
Additionally, Haveli Investments disclosed a deal with Canadian video game developer Behaviour Interactive. Canada’s largest independent video game studio acquired Midwinter Entertainment as part of a growth strategy and brought in Haveli Investments.
Apollo Global Management’s partnership with Haveli Investments is a significant testament to the company’s future.
“The technological foundation being built to support gaming may one day support the broader financial ecosystem, and their insights in software are relevant to investments across our platform. Brian and the team at Haveli are the right team, and this is an attractive time to enter the sector. We are excited to support Haveli’s growth, leveraging our fund formation, capital markets, and yield and hybrid capital solutions,” Apollo CEO Marc Rowan said.
Brian Sheth Is Partnering With Prime Players
Part of Brian Sheth’s strategy has been assembling the right team to transform what investing in the tech industry looks like in 2023.
Sheth is no stranger to attracting top-tier talent. He brought in Ian Loring as senior managing director. Loring previously was the managing director at Bain where he handled more than $105 billion in assets.
Ophir Lupu joined Haveli Investments last summer. The gaming industry agent has become a fundraising phenomenon in his field and is reportedly a master negotiator. He previously spent 10 years at United Talent Agency and his client roster included Mortal Kombat chief creator Ed Boon, BioShock’s Ken Levine, and Danish developers like Playdead, the studio known for Limbo and Inside. Variety reports that “his strategic focus and entrepreneurial skills” make him a sought-after industry leader. In addition, Lupu is credited with aiding the launch of Squanch Games. The Burbank, California-based studio has gone on to produce games such as Accounting+, Trover Saves the Universe, and High on Life.
Brian Sheth recruited Lucas Joppa as chief sustainability officer and senior managing director. Joppa, who also teaches at Yale University, previously worked at Microsoft, where he led Microsoft’s internal and external focus on environmental sustainability issues. He has an extensive background in environmental sciences and worked as a computational ecologist working with biodiversity conservation and conducting ecological theory research.
Joppa shared on Linkedin, “At the end of the day, when Brian Sheth asks you to come help him build the most sustainable investment firm in the world, right when the finance sector is starting to shoulder the load of the net zero transition … well you don’t turn that down.
“I’ll miss my Microsoft colleagues but I’m having a blast settling in at Haveli Investments. An outstanding team, vision, and ambition.”
After joining Brian Sheth and Haveli Investments, Joppa gave an interview to Bloomberg where he discussed in depth his theories on how the private sector can buoy the battle against climate change. Under Joppa’s tutelage, Haveli Investments will expand into other areas in the tech industry.
Joppa, who, like Brian Sheth, is environmentally conscious, spearheaded an initiative during his time at Microsoft to help the firm become carbon negative by 2030 and worked to create the enterprise’s $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund to invest in climate technologies. At Haveli Investments, Joppa is leading a fresh eco-conscious plan.
For now, Haveli Investments is targeting the gaming sector with a plan and a purpose. And there’s still a jaw-dropping amount of money to be made in the video gaming industry. Last year, more than half (54.2%) of the U.S. population identified as digital gamers, and more adults are getting their game on than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic further charged the market. With new releases, reboots, and sequels of games popping up throughout the year, it will not be game over.
While there’s already more competition in the gaming sector, it’s still one worth fighting for and the proof is in the numbers. Drake Star reports that the gaming industry raked in $127 billion in deals last year. Activision is at the forefront of the market, with Microsoft’s potential acquisition of the video game publisher breaking the bank at $68.7 billion.
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