Ravensburger Announces Major Investment in Kickstarter Alternative Gamefound

Ravensburger has announced a significant investment in the crowdfunding platform Gamefound, which serves as an alternative to Kickstarter for tabletop games publishers. Ravensburger announced the move this week, stating that they had invested $4.5 million in Gamefound via their Next Ventures program. Gamefound announced that they will use the funding to build new functions for the platform, with the aim to bring the service to the "next level." Ravensburger also announced that they will continue to play a role in developing the platform's tools and offerings as a strategic partner and investor.  

Gamefound launched last year as a spinout venture of Awaken Realms, a Polish tabletop publisher primarily known for its large strategic games. While Kickstarter is the primary crowdfunding platform for tabletop games, Gamefound specifically caters to tabletop publishers and has tools such as a built-in pledge manager platform that Kickstarter lacks. In 2021, Gamefound raised $22 million for various tabletop projects. In addition to Awaken Realms' ISS Vanguard project, other major Gamefound successes include Too Many Bones: Unbreakable and Robinson Crusoe Collector's Edition.

By comparison, Kickstarter reported $235 million in successful funding for tabletop projects in 2020, and 2021 was reportedly an even bigger year for projects on the platform. Tabletop gaming is considered to be a major piece of Kickstarter's success, with tabletop projects accounting for approximately a third of all funding generated by the platform in 2020.

Some tabletop games publishers are looking for alternatives to Kickstarter, as Kickstarter recently announced that it was planning to move to a blockchain-based database system. Kickstarter provided few details about how the blockchain system would work and what benefits it would provide to users, and many users are hesitant to support a blockchain project, given the immense energy cost associated with most blockchain systems.

Ravensburger is a German-based toys company best known for their line of jigsaw puzzles. The company also publishes a wide line of tabletop games, including successes like Disney's Villainous and Labyrinth. The company launched their Next Ventures program last year as a way to fund innovation projects and start-ups around the world that fit in with Ravensburger's various business lines.