Amplitude Studios’ sales are global, our largest market by far is the U.S.A., and I’ve been asked to add english subtitles to the video (to get these, click on the icon on the lower right side of the YouTube video).
I founded L.T. Sachs, a seed capital company, in 2011. I’m often asked about my investment process. It actually always begins with a meeting (of minds). For Amplitude Studios, it happened in the Spring of 2011. I had just founded L.T. Sachs, and I went one evening to a gathering where startups pitch to potential investors. It was at the Telecom ParisTech Engineering School. Usual format: about thirty investors, four startups, ten minutes presentation each, five minutes Q&A.
That’s how I met Amplitude’s founders Mathieu Girard and Romain de Waubert. Mid to late thirties, their pitch was excellent. Team, strategy, objectives, needs, very well. Audience questions were quite critical. But my first impression was very good, and I liked the pitch. I went to see Mathieu and Romain, and asked for an appointment at their office the following week.
Before that meeting, I did my due diligence on the internet. A due diligence is like an investigation a potential investor wants to do before opening his cheque book. I discovered all the video games Mathieu and Romain had made in the past, and some of these had been blockbusters. To make a long story short, I was quickly convinced these two were the right stuff.
Amplitude’s office was then near Place de la Nation, at the back of a building, fourth floor, no elevator. Less than 100m², around ten associates and trainees in the process of being hired. This first meeting was quite technical. Positioning of the company, stategy, key competencies, financing, production cycle. Their idea was to produce the best strategy games for PC and Mac, at a quality on par with major companies, but quicker and much cheaper, and in order to do that, to rely on an innovating concept of co-design and community co-creation.
We had a second meeting a few days later, less technical, more personal. I think the most important success factor for a startup is the founders’ human factor. I wanted to make sure we could get along well, and that in dealing with them I would be able to create value above and beyond my financial investment. When our meeting ended, I was convinced.
That’s how the story began, with a meeting of minds, as always. It’s deeply personal. Since then, we have been meeting every six weeks or so. I am one of the four members of the Board. We now have thirty associates, our first game Endless Space is an international winner, and we recently announced the upcoming release of our second game. I can say now that everything Mathieu and Romain told they would do, they achieved, and surpassed. I am happy and proud to work with them, and I eagerly look forward to what’s coming.