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Grand Cru Games Announces $2 Million In Seed Funding And Their First Game - Supernauts

Helsinki based Grand Cru Games (previous coverage here) is announcing a $2 million seed financing round from Idinvest Partners. In addition to this, the company is also making public its first game title it is working on - Supernauts. The $2 million in funding comes mostly from Idinvest Partners, who is a France based venture capital firm that has around €3 billion of assets under management. Other investors in the round include Rick Thompson, Anil Hansjee, Henric Suuronen and Nicolas Béraud. We talked to Markus Pasula, the CEO and one of the six co-founders of the firm about the deal and the upcoming game.

Guillaume Lautour, who led the investment from Idinvest Partners was in Finland last year talking to some other companies while they also stumbled upon Grand Cru Games. Pasula told us that they started looking at funding opportunities around summer, but seriously began pitching for the investment around September. They actually closed the deal in January, but announced it only today. Pasula also shared with us that they did have a few investors competing for the investment in the end.

The new game, Supernauts - is an amazing mixture of popular, existing games out there. Pasula pitched us that Supernauts is a cross platform game with a sandbox virtual world where users can create all kinds of things. We're huge fans of Minecraft here at ArcticStartup and it was pretty clear when I saw a demo video of the game that Minecraft had been a huge idol for Grand Cru Games as well. Being cross platform, the game will be made available for the iOS and Android platforms as well as through the web.

As for when exactly can we expect the game to ship, Pasula said, "once it's ready". They are going to accept beta testers into the game probably during this month or the next. Based on those experiences they will decide when the game is fit enough to go out.

He explains that they differ quite a bit from the traditional gaming company in terms of their planning process. While more traditional game developers go from an idea to a design documentation to production - Grand Cru Games looks to keep desigining and iterating the game as they go forward until they are satisfied with its quality. One thing is clear from the start though, the game is designed with touch screens in mind.

The company has 11 people on payroll today, but anticipate to hire another four people by summer in the areas of online marketing, producer and product manager. For more specific information, check out the Grand Cru Games website.

Lifeline Ventures, one of the Vigo Accelerators was the founding investors into the company.

When I asked them if the company has ideas on other games, Pasula said "yes many, but we are only coming out with Supernauts this year." It's a passionate project and we're sure there's a lot of work to get it out.

Below is an actual screenshot of the upcoming game:

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Henric Suuronen March 20, 2012

Congrats Markus and crew, or should I say cru! :)