Note: As of summer 2022, Electric Gamebox has changed its name to Immersive Gamebox in both the U.S. and the U.K.
When people got together for fun, they used to play charades. Today’s real-life game players hunger for something a little more high-tech and experiential—and they’ve found it in Electric Gamebox. The immersive group gaming platform has locations in three U.K. cities and one just north of Dallas, in the Grandscape shopping center in The Colony.
Today Electric Gamebox announced it has raised $11 million in Series A2 funding, bringing total investments in the startup to $25M. The funding round was led by Philian, with additional participation from Brookfield Asset Management’s Retail Revitalization program, Index Ventures, and ActivumSG.
The company has ambitious plans for the funding—with goals to open 100 locations in the U.S. and U.K. by 2023 and 1,000+ locations by 2026.
Rapid US. expansion planned
Brookfield will leverage its real estate portfolio to open new Electric Gamebox outlets in its retail locations, as “the destination of choice” for entertainment, hospitality, and retail. Over the next year, new locations are slated for Oakbrook Center, Chicago; The Woodlands Mall, Houston; Fashion Place, Salt Lake City; Victoria Gardens, LA/San Bernardino; and Ballston Quarter in Arlington, VA. More Electric Gamebox concessions will open in San Antonio, in partnership with Santikos Movie Theaters.
First location was in London
Electric Gamebox opened its first location in London, England, in October 2019, later expanding to Essex and Manchester. It opened its first U.S. location in the Dallas area last December. Despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grandscape location has already welcomed 10,000+ customers, the company says.
Customers who visit Electric Gamebox enter an interactive digital smart room called a “Gamebox” gaming pod. Able to host two to six players at a time, the Gameboxes feature a range of games using projection mapping, touch screens, 3D motion tracking, and surround sound without headsets.
Collaboration is key
Teams play a series of games and challenges, with collaboration as the key to success. Electric Gamebox currently offers six intuitive games designed by the company’s in-house game studio, with new games coming later this year. Games are released monthly, so groups can come back for a fresh challenge with each visit..
Electric Gamebox was co-founded by CEO Will Dean, founder of the obstacle race Tough Mudder, and CFO David Spindler, founder of Tough Mudder Bootcamp.
“We’re thrilled to be working with such legendary investors to accelerate our expansion and further our mission to reinvent how we play video games,” Dean said in a statement.
“The future of retail will be experiential”
Promising to “elevate immersive entertainment to the next level,” Dean said he expects the future of retail to be experiential by nature, “and we can’t wait to be part of this transformation.”
The company says it delivers a COVID-safe experience, with each booking occurring in its own private Gamebox, sanitization between groups, and staggered reservations to limit group interactions.
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