Haymarket Ventures launches and makes first investment in gaming start-up

Owner of Campaign launches venture investment fund and buys into London-based GEEIQ.

A photo collage of Kevin Costello (l) James Burden and Charles Hambro
L-R: Haymarket CEO Kevin Costello and GEEIQ's James Burden and Charles Hambro.

Haymarket Group has launched an investment arm, Haymarket Ventures, to invest in early stage businesses across the media and technology sector and is “actively looking for new opportunities."

Haymarket Ventures has already made its first investment in GEEIQ, a London-based marketing, data and analytics platform and consultancy that is involved in gaming, esports and the nascent world of the metaverse.

GEEIQ’s customers include Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger and L'Oréal Group and it has helped its clients to partner or integrate with various games and gaming platforms, including Pokémon Go and Roblox.

Charles Hambro and James and Andrew Burden cofounded GEEIQ in 2018. Rupert Heseltine, chair of Haymarket Media Group, sits on the advisory board of GEEIQ and has worked with the business since 2020.

Haymarket Media Group, which owns Campaign, PRWeek and What Car, and Haymarket Ventures are both part of Haymarket Group, the holding company owned by Lord Heseltine and his family.

Haymarket Group said: “Haymarket Ventures is looking to invest in early stage businesses prior to series A funding rounds, and is interested in startups across the broad technology and media sectors, where it holds in-house expertise including martech, adtech, fintech and greentech among others.”

Kevin Costello, chief executive of Haymarket, said: “Haymarket Ventures is an exciting new chapter for the group, working with talented, mission-driven entrepreneurs and diversifying Haymarket’s offering further.”

“It was clear from the outset that GEEIQ was a great fit as our first investment. Cofounders Charles, James and Andrew are expertly absorbed in the gaming space and the success in their mission-driven, innovative approach is clearly reflected in the success seen already after just three years and [we] look forward to everything that’s still yet to come," he said. 

Charles Hambro, cofounder and chief executive of GEEIQ, said: “It was important that we found investors who are excited by our vision, believed in our platform and aligned with our operational and financial needs. We can happily say we’ve found that with Haymarket Ventures.

“It’s been brilliant to have Rupert’s involvement and guidance since the early days of GEEIQ and getting Haymarket Ventures as a shareholder made perfect sense to help us grow and expand. Once considered geeky and niche, the gaming industry is now immersed in mainstream culture and this funding will help us keep ahead of the fast-paced digital ecosystem we’re in.” 

Costello added: “I would urge any U.K. business looking for, or thinking about, early stage funding to get in touch with us and discover how we can help take your company to the next level.” 

If you have a U.K. business that would like to know more about Haymarket Ventures and investment opportunities, contact deane.short@haymarket.com

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