An interview with a16z’s Jonathan Lai on Games Fund One, the VC firm’s new $600M fund for games that will invest in studios, infrastructure, and consumer apps. (Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat)

Jonathan Lai is a partner at a16z, the venture capital firm that invests in game startups. Recently, he spoke with us about a new venture capital fund that aims to fund early-stage game companies. The fund will be invested in , various game companies across the entire game industry, including mobile, console, PC, online, social, casual, subscription, mobile, and more. This conversation will cover everything from a16z’s recent investments to the fund’s structure, the kinds of games the fund is looking to invest in, and the lessons learned through the experience of investing in other startups. 

What is Games Fund One? 

Games Fund One is a crowdfunding website and platform that enables individuals and organizations to fund projects through the crowdfunding process. It makes it easier for anyone to raise funds for their project and eliminates the need for intermediaries. Games Fund One is a unique online crowdfunding platform built to empower those with creative ideas, innovative concepts, and amazing products to raise money for their ventures without breaking into their bank accounts.

 What is the goal of Games Fund One? 

Games Fund One is a nonprofit organization founded by John Schilling to promote games education in the United States. It was formed in February 2011 by four individuals who wanted to support and train teachers in game design and Games Fund One began in January 2015. Games Fund One’s goal is to create a sustainable network for game development across the United States and Canada. And the fund’s purpose is to make sure that these companies make a sustainable business model to achieve their growth plans.  

 How Does the Games Fund One Work?  

Identifying your target market is the first step in figuring out how the Games Fund One works. Are you targeting people who live in one particular area? You may be going after the people living in the US or the UK. You may be trying to attract a specific audience. This exercise will help you figure out exactly who you are targeting and whether they’ll be interested in what you have to offer. 

Why did a16z invest in Games Fund One? 

Before a16z’s first $100m fund, the venture firm focused on investing in consumer internet businesses with high growth potential and strong management teams. They needed to gain more expertise in gaming. But given the growth of mobile gaming and the sector’s huge potential for future innovation, a16z felt there was a real opportunity to create long-term value in the space. A16Z’s second $100m fund, expected to close later this year, will invest in early-stage mobile and social games.


In conclusion, the fund aims to invest in companies that have built large user bases and can demonstrate strong engagement. This is important for a few reasons: 1) it shows a large user base so people can trust the product. 2) it shows strong engagement, so users are willing to pay for the product. 3) it demonstrates that the product has staying power. 4) it shows that the market has a sustainable model for recurring revenue. 5) it shows a long runway for the company. The last thing they’re looking for is a company that needs a big acquisition. They want companies that have the potential to be acquired themselves.


1. What does a16z do? 

a16z is a venture capital firm that invests in technology companies. We invest in various sectors, including hardware, software, mobile, social media, advertising, and more.

2. What is the size of the fund? 

The size of the fund is currently $600 million. 

3. Who is the target audience? 

We are targeting game companies with many potentials but that have yet to reach their potential.

4. What are the investment criteria? 

The fund will invest in companies with a good business model and a great team. They must have a strong team that can execute their vision.

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