Amherst, MA: In a startup funding deal that participants say is unusually large, Western Massachusetts investor network River Valley Investors (RVI) has closed a $1.25 million investment deal with HitPoint Inc., a video, mobile and casual game development studio that has recently teamed with Microsoft and DreamWorks to develop Dragons Adventure World Explorer for Windows phones and tablets.
According to RVI Chairman John Goodhue, “This exciting company was offered funding from Silicon Valley and Boston, contingent on moving its headquarters to these locales. Thanks to the investment made by RVI members, HitPoint will grow right here in Western Massachusetts.” He adds, “The HitPoint investment is a win not just for the company and its investors but for the region as well.”
Aaron St. John, HitPoint CEO, says he is delighted that the company can remain in Western Massachusetts and adds, “The funding from RVI will let us develop more of our own, fully-owned, recurring-revenue-generating products. We plan to move away from seeking project revenue from larger companies, and focus fully on our own product development and commercialization, which yields higher rewards in every way.” One of the fastest growing categories in video games today is “Free to Play” and HitPoint plans to continue to develop games in this and other popular segments. HitPoint’s current offices are in Amherst, MA and St. John says the move to Springfield will be an easy transition for the company and staff. Other investment groups who sought a deal with HitPoint would have required the startup to move its headquarters to California.
RVI Manager Paul Silva says that pulling together a deal of this size is an unusual accomplishment for an investment group such as RVI. “When I announced the HitPoint deal to leaders of other New England investor groups like RVI, they reminded me that pulling together over a million dollars for one deal, without syndicating with other investor groups, is a significant achievement.” HitPoint had received a first round of seed funding from RVI as well, and its early success using those funds facilitated raising this substantial second round.
Individual RVI members funded approximately 60 percent of the HitPoint capital. Springfield Venture Fund, a traditional venture capital fund created by MassMutual that invests in local startups and seeks potential ten-times returns on investments, provided the rest. Springfield Venture Fund invests only in companies, such as HitPoint, that are based in or agree to relocate and retain headquarters in Springfield.
HitPoint Studios is an experienced game studio located in the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts. It specializes in social, casual, mobile, and advergame development for a wide variety of platforms and audiences.
River Valley Investors (RVI) is Western Massachusetts's angel investor network comprised of successful entrepreneurs and executives dedicated to helping each other find, evaluate, and profitably invest in exciting companies with significant growth potential.