By Sam Cash
We’re happy to co-lead Electronic Theatre’s Series A round with Index Ventures, with further participation from JamJar and Sweet Capital.
The best part of this job is having your eyes opened to a new idea, vision or world view of the future you hadn’t thought of or didn’t think possible. For me and my colleagues that happened when meeting Will Dean in a less than inspiring Pret a Manger in South London.
Will Dean is what you might call a ‘natural entrepreneur’, someone who wouldn’t feel comfortable doing anything other than building a hugely ambitious company. Will is part anthropologist, part strategist, part executor. He’s building on the 10 years he gained from being co-founder and CEO of Tough Mudder, is poised to deliver a new global, shared experience.
Making screen time social again
Electronic Theatre is an immersive gaming experience and destination —having built a proprietary ‘Lightbox’, a room where up to 6 players can play synchronous interactive games, both in collaboration and in competition with one another. The lightboxes use an array of sensors to track player motion, touch and will soon recognize voice — providing an easy to grasp yet challenging set of adventures. Will, flanked by CTO Jan, have built their own games, designed to touch on nostalgia, team play, shared emotion and social experience — whilst also being simple enough for most ages and demographics to partake.
Whilst many games and social products are built on hyper-realism and providing connected, though individual gaming experiences — we’re betting that increasing human separation exacerbated by connected devices will spur consumers to seek out a new type of connection; an in-person technology-enabled experience. That experience is Electronic Theatre.
The team doesn’t merely have ambitions to create and own a new category but to also rapidly scale their concept across the UK, Europe and the US — with the explicit goal of scaling to 100s of locations globally.
Having this large physical footprint will provide them with a connected network of spaces where games can be updated ‘over-the-air’, additional IP can be layered on top selectively and real world spaces allow them to build real world communities and networks.
We look forward to working with Will, David and the rest of the team, on this exciting, interactive journey 🙂