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Included Games raises £2.5M seed round with the help of SeedLegals Advisory Service

Long-time SeedLegals advocate, Included Games used the SeedLegals Advisory Service to close their seed round of £2.5M. This raise, co-led by Lakestar Ventures and The Games Fund, will support the global launch of their new mobile game, Queens of Fortune – a four player dungeon-raiding, treasure-hunting game which combines all the competitive strategy of a board game with the interactivity of mobile gameplay.

The elevator pitch 🚀

Pick your player - Queens of Fortune characters

Included Games builds mobile games powered by social interaction. Their focus on community runs a lot deeper than the simple mechanics of the gameplay. Representation and inclusion are guiding principles at Included Games.

Michael Heywood and Michael Othen-Reeves founded Included Games in late 2020. It was a natural progression to start their own company together after two successful career stints in the social gaming industry.

“The timing was right, and we wanted to see if we could make something different in the mobile games space,” explains Michael Heywood.

The challenge: Levelling up the legal stakes and running a company on hard mode 👾

The two Michaels are in their element when brainstorming, designing and creating games. But, when it comes to keeping track of all the legal considerations of running a company, even with their small, expert team of five – they were low on XP.

“Fundraising and options were new to us. We had experience in building, creating and running games, but we didn’t have a lot of experience in raising finance or rewarding teams with equity.”

How SeedLegals helped 💡

1. Peace of mind with advice and negotiations handled

For their seed round, Included Games had two co-lead investors, who each had their own in-house legal help. Because that’s a common scenario when you raise from Venture Capital funds, it’s often helpful to have someone fighting your corner and looking out for your interests.

That’s where the SeedLegals Advisory Service comes in. You get the support of a dedicated senior lawyer to support you, guide you through the implications of all the terms, and ensure you get the best deal possible.

“SeedLegals were great – our lawyer was brilliant at getting through things as quickly as possible. The advice was invaluable, and they also handled the negotiations with our investors directly for us.

“It made all the difference to have someone go through and check everything, then help with negotiations and explain points which didn’t make sense the first time round. We felt much more relaxed during the round when we understood exactly what was being asked and what was being negotiated.”

With the impending global launch of the game, it was important to be efficient with time. Included Games found that using the SeedLegals platform for the parts of the process that could be automated combined with personal help from their senior lawyer made moving the deal along a lot faster.

“SeedLegals were great at following up and even pushing the deal along, giving the investors a nudge, it was very helpful.

“The money and the time we saved on the legal side really makes a big difference.”

2. There from the start, and not just for funding

Included Games started their journey with SeedLegals long before they started raising. First, they laid the legal foundations of their company by using SeedLegals to generate their Founders Agreements. SeedLegals then quickly became their go-to legal system to create Employment, Advisor and Consultancy Agreements to get the team together, as well as IP Assignment Agreements to protect what was being worked on.

Platform Screenshot Agreements
On SeedLegals, it only takes minutes to create the documents you need to build your team and protect your company's intellectual property.

So when it came to raising, SeedLegals was the natural choice for Included Games. Before their seed round, Included Games had already raised £430k with SeedLegals from their first angel funding round, Instant Investment top ups, and SeedFASTs.

They also applied for SEIS/EIS Advance Assurance through SeedLegals, and completed the compliance process to get their investors tax relief.

“It seemed fairly natural to continue using SeedLegals for our seed round. We can’t say enough good things about how much easier it made the whole process of setting up the company, not even just our raises. We’ve had nothing but positive experiences with the platform so it was an easy decision to use it for the raise too.”

Alongside this, they also manage two option schemes on the platform.

“We’re running two option schemes at the moment, the EMI and the unapproved scheme. What was incredible about setting up an option scheme with SeedLegals was all the help we got with all the pre-checks and applications. We had EMI Valuation approval from HMRC very quickly because the team at SeedLegals did two or three rounds of checking.”

3. Everything clearly organised on one platform

“What distinguishes SeedLegals is that everything’s on one platform, so it allows you to keep it all in one place. That’s especially important for startups, where you’re bouncing between several different roles. When it comes to important legal documents, you need it all to be organised and easy to access.

Keeping everything in one place was a huge advantage, because when you’re a small startup – (there are five of us) – just being able to go to the dashboard and have SeedLegals as our single source of legal truth has been helpful and also one less thing to worry about. There’s no digging around various documents.”

A key part of the appeal of SeedLegals for Included Games is the user-friendly platform, where you can keep all your documents together, secure, and dynamically updated. Plus, you can share them quickly and easily for e-signing.

The auto-updating cap table was another helpful benefit of the platform. Knowing it was always up to date, and the ability to see the dilution effects in real time made the deal easier to process.

The impact: An exciting future for social gamers 🎮

Next up: Going global 🌍

Included Games closed their seed round in just four months with the help of SeedLegals Advisory, and their plans for the investment are huge – they’re going global.

“The raise is primarily to grow the team a little and help us to get to global launch for our first game. We’ve built our prototype into a demo, so the next step is for us to soft launch and develop the game ahead of global launch later this year.”

The team will launch in the UK initially and run players through the game. From this, they’ll look at the analytics, test everything and start to tweak the game and design. Once the KPIs and numbers are good, they’ll look to expand globally.

Any advice for fellow entrepreneurs looking to start their business?

“Have every conversation you can – you never know which will be important. When you look back, it’s hard to see which conversations were the ones that mattered, so I would say talk to everyone because any conversation might lead to something in the future.

I cannot imagine starting a business without SeedLegals. That’s what my co-founder and I always say. When you have so much to concentrate on as a founder, having the legals so quick, straightforward, reliable and easy to manage is great.”

Look out for Queens of Fortune in the app store and check out their website here 👉 Included Games

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