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EA to invest in VC firm founded by former execs

Company to focus on investment into digital media start-ups

EA is about to invest in a newly formed Canadian capital fund founded by former EA executives, according to reports.

The move is said to be in reaction to the brain drain the publisher is facing to venture capital, as many high-profile execs move into the sector.

A stake in the Canadian firm, called VanEdge Capital, would also be a way for EA to stay on top of early stage innovations and start-ups - something the publisher could be looking at doing more of following its purchase of social gaming firm Playfish for $300 million last year.

VanEdge's focus will be on early stage digital media opportunities, reports peHUB, with its first funding round expected to close on $100 million from six partners, including EA.

The company was formed last year by three former execs of Redwood City - Paul Lee, Glenn Entis, and Jason Chein.

Lee previously held the position of worldwide studios president at EA and Entis served as chief visual and technical officer of EA's worldwide studios. Chein was formerly general manager of EA China.

VanEdge would have an advantage over other investors looking to enter the gaming space, due to its founders' combined expertise, said Lee.

"Our competitive advantage is that we have subject matter expertise and great connections and contacts.

"The major VC firms are scrambling to get into position to add to their staff and get the right people," he added. "Most venture capitalists are pretty good on technology and the business angle. But what about the character sets and the artwork? Engineers feel much less comfortable with that. Is the game-play engaging? They’re even less comfortable with that."

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