Van der Kuyl’s Chroma adds Stormcloud to portfolio
Frank Arnot and Chris van der Kuyl
Chris van der Kuyl’s recently-launched investment vehicle Chroma Ventures is backing a games developer’s planned roll-out of new products.
Stormcloud Games, based in Dundee, has secured a seven-figure investment from Chroma, the investment arm of 4J Studios which Mr Van der Kuyl runs with business partner Paddy Burns.
Frank Arnot founded Stormcloud in 2012 and has built a dozen-strong team of experienced developers. Mr Arnot, who remains the majority shareholder, anticipates growing the team by around 50% over the next year.
The company has gained considerable plaudits for its family-friendly titles, including the BAFTA-nominated games based on the bestselling children’s books The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, and its original and children’s series Paper Zoo, Paper Ocean, and Paper Pets, for which the firm also earned a BAFTA nomination.
Last year, in partnership with NatWest Group, Stormcloud launched Island Saver, a financial education game for children, which earned a nomination for ‘Best Educational or Serious Game’ in the prestigious TIGA Game Awards 2020. It has been downloaded more than 2.7 million times.
Mr Burns, who is principal at Chroma Ventures, said: “We’ve known Frank and the Stormcloud team for many years now and have followed their recent successes closely.
“What sets Stormcloud apart is the depth of experience in the team, many of whom have been making games for nearly 30 years. They know instinctively what works and what doesn’t, and they make original content in a style that is distinctly their own.”
Mr Arnot added: “Given the challenges we’ve faced in the past year with the pandemic, it feels particularly good to be part of a wider community of games developers working in similar genres. To be doing so with Chris and Paddy’s support – both financially and practically – is a real bonus.”
Stormcloud Games joins a Chroma Ventures portfolio which includes another Dundee-based indie games studio in Puny Astronaut, leading augmented reality (AR) technology company Blippar, cupboard stored ready meal provider Parsley Box, and commercial insurance distribution and data platform Broker Insights.
The portfolio also includes a number of indirect holdings through LVP, the venture capital seed fund for the games sector, Social Investment Scotland (SIS) Ventures, the impact investment fund backing mission-led enterprises, and Seedhaus, the pre-seed stage investor.
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