Why We Chose to Lead Labwork’s Seed Round
We are delighted to announce the completion of our investment in Labworks, where we led their £500k seed round. We look forward to welcoming Tom Hewitson and his team to the RLC Ventures portfolio and are very excited to be partnering with them for the long-term.
Labworks are Europe’s leading voice games studio for Amazon’s Alexa; with over 6 million people collectively spending over 100 years playing their 8 games. Their impressive traction has also been met with disciplined capital efficiency.
On the round, Founder & CEO of RLC Ventures Reece Chowdhry comments:
“After spending some time with Tom, and hearing about his vision for the future of voice, we very quickly became aligned with his mission to lead an ambitious business at the forefront of a developing ecosystem.”
While still an early-stage venture, they have been profitable across all three years and deservedly have been nominated for the “Startup Of The Year Award” by London & Partners in January 2020.
The team has a strong pedigree in the voice and content space, with Tom boasting a strong creative and professional track record at companies such as Facebook, Telegraph Media Group and Lonely Planet. He is listed as #9 in ‘100 People to Watch’ by Chatbots Magazine. Their newly appointed COO Fiona Morgan joined in January from the BBC, where she led the Voice & AI team.
Tom Hewitson, Labworks.io Founder and CEO, comments:
“We believe that soon there will be a voice assistant in every home and that the current demand for them to educate and entertain will only grow. This seed round will let us expand our team to build on our current position as market leader in Europe and bring our new subscription-based business model to market. I’m thrilled to be working with Reece and the RLC team who, apart from being avid voice gamers themselves, have played a major role in shaping our future strategy.”
Smart speakers are on track to sell over 200 million units by the end of this year, and this number is expected to grow to 500 million by 2023 according to Canalys. At this rate, more smart speakers will be sold annually than tablets in 2021. Latest figures suggest that smart speakers are now owned by one in six American households, and ownership has doubled in the UK with a smart speaker occupying 10% of all households in the past six months.
Focusing on the gaming category, the number of people who play a game on a monthly basis consists of 35% of all smart speaker owners. The gaming industry is also on the rise, currently valued at $138bn and expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
If you already own a voice device, you can try some of Labworks exceptional games today on the Alexa Skills Store; be sure to check out the Daily Quiz and Trivia Hero. The investment was made through our Alpha EIS/SEIS fund.