Tunisian gaming startup raises $600K

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The Tunisian startup Polysmart, which specializes in the design of video games has just raised 1.5 million Tunisian dinars (US$600,000) according to a press release published on 19 June on its Facebook page.

Founded in February 2015 by Haroun Gharbi and Ahmed Cheikhrouhou, the startup had raised nearly 2.2 million dinars (US$900,000) since its start in order to invest in the development of a video game made in Tunisia, Veterans Online.

"This is the fifth fundraising we are operating and this one comes from a single investor, the CDC management investor, which is the Tunisian depository and we are proud to have an investor who is party governmental," said Ahmed Cheikhrouhou, chairman of the board of Polysmart.

CDC Gestion is a mutual fund management company. It comes from a public-private partnership in 2013 between the Tunisian government’s Deposit and Consignment Office and private Tunisian investors.

"This shows the progress made by the government and institutional players in recognizing the creative industries in Tunisia and their potential, especially the gaming domain, and the fact that our latest investors have come to us and not the reverse is a good example," Cheikhrouhou told Wamda.

The startup intends to invest these new funds into the finalisation of the game Veterans Online before its release. The founders also want to open offices in Berlin and Dubai in order to acquire skilled workers not found in Tunisia.

"The culture of video games in Tunisia as a profession is still at its beginning and some jobs and skills are not yet on the market in Tunisia, such as video game marketing and AI (artificial intelligence) programmers," said Cheikhrouhou, who preferred to directly open offices in countries where they already subcontract with foreign companies.

According to Cheikhrouhou, the game is at its closed beta version on the digital platform selling online video games named Steam, non-publicly available yet. The Polysmart team is working to further enrich the content of the Veterans online game before the date of its worldwide launch, scheduled for September 2017.

Feature image, Polysmart team signing the fund raising with national antique hero Hannibal in the back, via Polysmart.

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