We are not just investors. We are veteran game developers helping other developers realize their dreams. Join the Sisu Family.

Sisu Game Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund focused 100% on games. We set up shop in 2014 to support the most promising founders in the industry. Sisu has deep roots in the Nordic region, but our network of founders is fully global.

The main thing is that we invest in teams - the people making the games - not just individual IPs or metrics. In addition to money, we invest our time and expertise to help level up the company for the next phase.

We like to invest very early, preferably first money in. Pre-revenue and most often pre-product.

The Nordic game industry is known for open collaboration and that’s a principle we also hold dear  among our own portfolio companies and the investors we co-invest with. This accelerates the development of the companies giving an extra edge over the global competition.

Over the past three decades the Sisu team members have built 16 game companies and invested in over 60 game startups. Sisu’s own investors come mostly from the game industry including dozens of individuals and a few game companies as well.

sisu family

The Sisu Family is a collective of like-minded game industry entrepreneurs who are using business sense, creativity and data to build game companies to last for decades. Collaboration, knowledge sharing, and blunt honesty are key, but over everything, we value the sisu spirit of not giving up. Those who we believe in and support are free to experiment. Every iteration, be it a win or a failure, is celebrated as it increases the likelihood of long-term success.

Sisu was instrumental to the success of our seed round: not only did we get the base funding to survive, but we got valuable industry insights and contacts that helped us grow the company and ultimately do a successful exit.

Vilppu Tuominen

Kopla Games - Founder & CEO

When a few developers from Reykjavík decided to assemble a crack team of mobile, AAA and MMO developers across the Nordics, our first port of call was Helsinki to pitch our concept to Sisu. Their deep network and thoughtful help on strategy and team formation was instrumental to the airbridge that we've now built between Finland and Iceland.

Thor Gunnarsson

Mainframe Industries - Co-founder & CEO

Sisu has first-hand experience building fast growing companies and it makes a real difference for founders and the whole team. They know the games business inside out, bring their massive industry network and provide valuable insights and advice from day 1. Their advice and support has always been there when needed and beyond.

Stella Wang & Joonas Jokela

Dazzle Rocks - Founders

Starting a game development studio is never a simple thing, and without Sisu's support, we simply would not have started Exit Plan as quickly as we did. Their experience as game developers themselves is an incredible asset, and it blurs the line between a simple "investor" and a game developer - these guys know what they're talking about, and they truly want you to succeed!

Jose Teixeira

Exit Plan - Co-founder & Art Director

The partners at Sisu have been approachable and we at Solid Clouds have benefited from their extensive network along with their deep industry expertise, we would highly recommend getting them aboard for any upcoming gaming company.

Stefán Þór Björnsson

Solid Clouds - Co-founder & CFO

Sisu Game Ventures has been the prefect investor for us. They have been very pro-active in supporting us and they have an extensive network in the gaming industry that we have often been able to tap into. In my mind if I would picture smart money SGV comes to mind.

Ivar Kristjansson

1939 Games - Co-founder & CEO

Sisu has been valuable investor match for our team bringing meaningful industry connections to our use. The Finnish games industry is a tightly knit group and Sisu is at the very heart of it, providing connections and keeping them alive.

Aarni Linnakangas & Kalle Jyly

Superplus Games - Founders

Sisu takes care of its own

Whatever type of challenge you might have, there’s a good chance someone in our portfolio has been battling with something similar just recently. With over 60 portfolio companies, we can match you with a wide range of different expertise. Not to mention a trusted network of co-investors and strategic partners.

Built with sisu

From time to time, game developers in the Sisu family come to us with ideas we fall in love with. In these cases, we can get involved at the founding stage beyond just investing. We’ve gathered hotshot founding teams, assisted in honing strategies, and shepherded the companies through multiple rounds of funding. Here are a few examples of companies Built with Sisu.

Mobile game studio

Acquired in 2014 by

Cloud native game studio

Mixing the best of AAA, MMO and mobile gaming into a social sandbox, playable on any screen.

Mobile game studio

Pioneering empowered work culture and flat hierarchy while spearheading the hypercore category.

Cloud native game studio

Crafting the future of cloud native gaming. Currently operating in stealth mode.

the team

The Sisu team consists of Samuli, Paul, Erik, Kalle, Moaffak, Kadri, and Jere - all of whom have extensive backgrounds in the game industry and startup circles, both as entrepreneurs and investors. We've founded and built sixteen game companies since the early 90s and had several successful exits.

  • Samuli Syvähuoko

    Founding Partner

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    Samuli's career got its start in the demo scene in the late 80s. Through the Future Crew demo group and the Assembly computer festival he realized that his main talent was in organizing and managing things - especially people.

    In 1995 he and other demo scene veterans founded Remedy Entertainment - the second oldest game studio in Finland. Samuli served as managing director until 2000. After that he founded and built six more game studios including Fathammer (mobile games, acquired in 2006), Recoil Games (PC/console games), Helsinki GameWorks (mobile games, acquired by Next Games in 2014), Armada Interactive (mobile games), Lightheart (mobile games) and Return Entertainment (cloud native games).

    In 2014 he also co-founded Sisu Game Ventures with Paul and Moaffak. While he greatly enjoys helping other entrepreneurs succeed, creating and building something of his own is also very close to his heart. It is this balancing act from which Samuli draws his inspiration and motivation and what keeps him deeply connected with the industry.

  • Paul Bragiel

    Founding Partner

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    Like Samuli and Kalle, Paul's roots are in the demo scene. He started his professional career in 1999 by founding Paragon Five, a US/Poland based game studio. After that he located to Silicon Valley and founded Meetro and Lefora. The resulting success enabled Paul to become an investor, which quickly turned out to be his true calling and forte. He has since founded seven investment vehicles including i/o ventures, GameFounders, Presence Capital (VR/AR), Savannah Fund (Africa), Golden Gate Ventures (Asia), Bragiel Brothers and Sisu.

    In total Paul is involved with 200+ companies including Uber, Unity and Niantic (outside of Sisu). He has traveled to 100+ countries including all continents.

    He is also known for his Olympic exploits having served as head coach for team Colombia in 2018 winter Olympics, national champion for Colombian National Cross-Country Ski Team 2013-2017, retiring after the 2017 World Championships in Finland. He also served as the Team Attache for the Tonga Olympic team during the 2016 Olympics in Rio

  • Erik Gloersen

    General Partner

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    As the founder and CEO of FunCom in Norway back in the early 90’s, Erik launched a three decade long love affair with the video game industry. In addition to starting new video game companies he also has a successful track record from turning around struggling studios like Looking Glass (Thief series, System Shock 2), Epic Games’ studio People Can Fly (Bulletstorm, Gears of War) and 2K Czech during the development of Mafia 3.

    While his experience also features stints with larger companies like Atari and EA, his passion was always adding rocket fuel to fast growing startups. While running Disney’s mobile game division in Europe in 2011 he became convinced that free to play was going to change the industry. In 2017 Erik left Take Two and helped four new studios launch their business, including Smirk Game Studios in Prague with a group of ex-Disney Mobile veterans.

    Then after helping Neon Giant and Exit Plan raise money from Sisu Game Ventures and working more closely with Paul and Samuli, Erik joined Sisu as a General Partner in 2020. In his role as an early stage investor his goal is to help founders build the companies that can build the games that we all want to play.

  • Kalle Kaivola

    Venture Partner

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    Just like Samuli, Kalle started in the demo scene at the dawn of the Finnish game industry. Kalle spent his first decade as a games journalist which culminated in Editor-in-Chief positions at two games publications as well as producing a game TV show.

    In 2007 Samuli convinced Kalle to switch to the other side and thus Kalle joined Recoil Games as a producer. Since then Kalle has evolved into a production oriented builder of major games businesses having served as SVP of Product and Publishing at Rovio and Head of Licensed Games at Next Games (e.g. The Walking Dead and Blade Runner games), among other things.

    In 2014 Kalle founded Helsinki GameWorks together with Samuli and ten other game industry veterans. When Kalle joined Sisu in 2018, he joined forces with Samuli for the fourth time. In 2019, Sisu incubated Lightheart Entertainment, a progressive mobile game studio with very ambitious plans and Kalle decided to join the adventure as full-time CEO.

    Kalle is a jack of all trades and cultures with an endless thirst for learning new things and pushing the boundaries of what is generally deemed possible.

  • Moaffak Ahmed

    Venture Partner & co-founder

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    Moaffak's roots are in the financial technology industry. In 1992 he co-founded Trema where he served in various business roles until a successful exit in 2004.

    After a world traveling sabbatical, he started helping startups as an advisor, board member and angel investor. From 2007 onward he's been working with game companies, for example, he was the first investor in Next Games. Moaffak also founded the Veturi Venture Accelerator as well as Superhero Capital and has enjoyed multiple successful exits. He has also had a major impact in creating the Finnish startup ecosystem e.g. via co-founding the Startup Foundation. The foundation is the home for grassroots initiatives in the region including Slush, Junction, The Shortcut, Wave Ventures and Maria 01.

    In 2014 Moaffak wanted to go deeper into the game industry which resulted in the birth of Sisu.

    In 2018 he joined Nordic Makers which is a group of top Nordic angels backing the region's most ambitious entrepreneurs. Since 2019 Moaffak has been spearheading Cooler Future, a unique company combining fintech and saving the planet.

  • Kadri Härma

    Venture Partner

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    Kadri has been a serial entrepreneur, mentor and investor all her life. She was one of the founders of Estonia’s leading business consultancy in 2005 and the country’s largest startup competition in 2006. She has since then been a part of launching several startup ecosystem initiatives, initiating partnerships, building brands and operational systems, speaking at conferences, mentoring startups, judging at competitions, making angel investments as well as starting traditional businesses, like fashion retail and catering. In short contributing to the growth of exceptional teams, ideas and people.

    In 2012 Kadri and Paul started the first global games accelerator that also included Samuli and Kalle as mentors. Her international experience includes fundraising 2 funds- GameFounders Europe (current DVPI at 4.4x) and GameFounders Asia. Generating deal flow of 1000+, investing in 72 early stage teams from 26 countries, creating international partnerships in the gaming industry made GameFounders a global brand.

    Kadri is educated in business management, finance and international relations. As a passionate entrepreneur, investor, mentor, CEO, advisor her strengths lay in the areas of strategy, business development and operations.

  • Jere Partanen

    Associate

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    As the youngest addition to the team, Jere started his career during his university days by supporting startups through student entrepreneurship societies. While also juggling work as the founder of Panda Training, a startup democratizing coaching through automation. In 2019 he also ran both the games and product management programming for Slush, with his curated industry events acting as the official kickoffs to the conference.

    Unlike the rest of the team, Jere does not yet have a lengthy background in the industry, but shares a deep love for games. When not playing competitive games, he can be found reading incessantly. Alongside his work with Sisu he still continues building his own path as a founder.

Contact

Sisu Game Ventures is headquartered in the heart of Helsinki, Finland

Lönnrotinkatu 5,
00100 helsinki

If you want to contact us, please use LinkedIn to send a message to either Samuli, Erik or Jere:

Samuli Syvähuoko Erik Gloersen Jere Partanen

We promise to take a look at all pitches we receive but unfortunately we can't guarantee that we will reply back.