Sisu Game Ventures is an exclusive advisory and investment company focused 100% on games. It was setup in 2014 and focuses on the best gaming companies in the Nordic region. We only consider investments outside of the Nordics if they come via our own network.
Sisu consists of four active partners - Samuli, Moaffak, Paul and Kalle - all of whom have extensive backgrounds in the game industry and startup circles, both as entrepreneurs and investors. We’ve founded and built a dozen companies and had several successful exits.
Sisu is an evergreen investment company, not a fund, which means there’s no pressure for exits. We like to invest very early, preferably first money in - pre-revenue and most often pre-product.
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.
The Nordic game industry is known for open collaboration and that’s a principle we hold dear also 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.
Sisu’s own investors come mostly from the game industry including dozens of individuals and a few game companies as well.
Game studio kickstarter
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 a group of 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 four 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) and Armada Interactive (mobile 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.
Game business builder
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.
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.
Startup ecosystem architect
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.
World traveling deal-maker
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.