FastForward shoots for the Moon

AIM-listed early-stage investment group FastForward Innovations has announced a new investment in a social casino business based in Israel soon after it announced earlier this month that it would be focusing solely on gaming and gambling in the future.

The Moon Active deal will see FastForward, which is run by experienced gaming and gambling executive Lorne Abony, has acquired a 5.9% stake in the company which has been in existence since 2011. The stake is worth $500,000. 

Moon Active recently produced a casual game called Coin Master which includes and in-game slot machine where players can use credits which they can purchase. In total, the company has developed five games in its five-year history and notched up 10 million installs. Moon Active is a developer on the Unity Technologies platform which itself recently went through a funding round valuing the firm at circa $1.5bn.

Gigi Levy Weiss, a major shareholder in FastForward, is also already an investor in Moon Active.

Commenting on the new investment, FastForward chief executive Abony said: “Moon Active represents the exact type of gaming and technology company that FastForward is focusing on and will continue to invest in. Under the leadership of chief executive Samuel Albin, the company, while still in its early-stages is growing very quickly, while utilizing the latest and most advanced technology to create a fantastic experience for users.” 

He added that he believed the Moon Active business model would prove to be hugely disruptive to the gaming sector, with the use of the Unity platform offering it the technological capability to get games to market quickly and with innovative features. “Because they aren’t tied to outdated technology architecture, startups can innovate their products to respond to the market within days, whilst for major gaming players, those types of changes can take months or years, if at all.” 

FastForward’s move towards a gaming and gambling focus followed on from its debut investment in the space in April when it took at 41% stake in virtual sports provider Leap Gaming for $3.5m. At the same time the company announced it had added ex-BwinParty chief executive Norbert Teufelberger as a special adviser to the board.

Up until the Leap investment, FastForward had a portfolio of eight investments largely in either the educational tech sector or in life sciences companies. It is thought that FastForward will look to spin out the edutech companies into a separate vehicle while seeking profitable exits from its other investments.

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