Tech Pitch: GINX TV
Having been part of MTV Europe's founding team, Michiel Bakker tells us about his new venture - a global video gaming TV channel
Company name: GINX TV
Founder and CEO: Michiel Bakker (53)
Background: Bakker was founding executive of MTV Europe in 1987, where he stayed for 20 years.
Based in: Farringdon, London
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
- GINX is the only international TV channel exclusively dedicated to all genres of video gaming, including eSports.
- GINX exports its content to 41 countries including a mixture of cable and satellite platforms, and third-party broadcasters. One of its most popular programmes, Videogame Nation, is available on Sky in the UK.
- Ratings are growing 59% year on year and GINX’s programmes are now available in 26 million homes globally, including almost four million households in the UK via Virgin Media.
- It employs 15 people full time, plus eight TV presenters.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
Video gaming has become gargantuan in both its reach and appeal. Many gamers buy into the scene in a big way, but strangely have been largely ignored or misrepresented by mainstream TV.
We also think there’s a missed opportunity to bring TV content for gamers straight to their consoles, so our mission is to create a suite of apps for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Are you funded?
To date, GINX TV has primarily been funded by institutional money and HNW funding. We’re currently raising a second round of funding, this time via crowdfunding. We’re looking to raise £540,000 in total.
£150,000 of the crowd-funded total will go towards expanding UK distribution by 4.5 million households, and £90,000 will be allocated to website development to assist global digital expansion. £300,000 will be assigned to creating and marketing a suite of apps and new content for Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, effectively opening the channel up to more than 100 million users across these two platforms.
We believe GINX represents a sound investment prospect for gamers and early adopters who already consume our content, as much as the opportunistic investor.
What were you doing before starting?
I was involved in building MTV Networks Europe from its birth for almost 20 years. I then took a break to learn how to skipper boats but re-entered the fray with a start-up in digital outdoor technology.
As soon as the call came from an old MTV colleague to help grow a global thematic TV channel once more, I couldn’t resist and here I am!
What’s the best thing about where you’re based?
Farringdon is perfect in many ways: there is a large concentration of media agencies nearby, as is the video gaming trade body UKIE and a fair few games publishers. We are also practically next door to the station, which makes getting out and about really easy.
Plus, Farringdon is full of start-ups which represent the now and the future – a nice juxtaposition with the historical buildings in the area.