Infinity invests $20m in gaming company for Chinese expansion

The private equity firm, which specialises in Israel and China, has made the ‘flagship deal’ of its ‘gaming cluster strategy’ by backing Oberon Media. Fellow Oberon backers include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Oak Investment Partners.

Israel- and China-focused private equity firm Infinity Equity has invested $20 million in “casual games” company Oberon Media. Oberon’s two business lines are gaming platforms and casual game publishing.

The investment was made from the Infinity I-China Fund, currently targeting $350 million.

The New York-based company has made expansion in China a key part of its global strategy and is looking to leverage Infinity’s relationships in the country.

“We have identified the gaming field as a strategic cluster for investments,” Amir Gal-Or, managing partner of the Infinity I-China Fund, said. “The Oberon Media Investment, our flagship deal within the gaming cluster, is meant to serve as our cornerstone and a model for future Infinity I-China Investments.”

Infinity is currently in talks with several potential portfolio companies in line with its “gaming cluster strategy”, Infinity senior director Mark Chess added in the same statement.

Additional backers of Oberon are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Oak Investment Partners.

The Infinity I-China Fund is Infinity’s second China-focused fund. The fund had raised $270 million as of January 2008 and had hoped to hold a final close on $350 million in July 2008.

The fund’s main focus is investing in late-stage Israeli companies seeking to either access the Chinese market or enhance their existing business activities in China.

Infinity raised its first China fund in 2004 in conjunction with Suzhou Ventures Group, a state-backed venture capital firm. That fund was the first onshore limited partnership approved by the state.

The firm has raised a series of funds for Israeli technology companies since it launched in 1993, but more recently has decided to focus its activities on China, making investments with local partners.

Infinity has offices in Tel-Aviv, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Suzhou and New York.