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Bedtime Digital Games: art, science & business

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“The beginning was funny. We worked from a freezing old warehouse at the harbour in Aalborg. Absolutely freezing, but we loved it. It took a long time to finish it all – we all had day-jobs, so we worked in the evenings and on weekends,” explains Klaus Pedersen, CEO of Bedtime Digital Games.

Klaus always wanted to take the entrepreneurial route. Back around Christmas time in 2011, he and a group of fellow students started working on developing a video-game. “We were still studying at the time, and it didn’t really start as a business,” Klaus explains. “We were inspired by Disney movies, Donald Duck and also surrealist artists. We brought it all together in a game in which you have to protect a sleepwalker by altering his path to get him back to bed safe. It’s designed for adults as much as kids, with no blood or violence. Just a few knocks and bounces. It has a family appeal and, with its surreal characteristics, I think it tickles the imagination.”

One step at a time, the part-time project grew into a full-time job: “We put a demo online and it was really successful. But the real turning point was when we got nominated for an award and found ourselves at a gaming conference in San Francisco. People saw the game, liked it, and I guess we took it from there… With time, we quit our day-jobs and five of us started working full-time on the project,” Klaus says.

In the process of growing the company, Bedtime received an EU-guaranteed loan from Vaekstfonden, backed by the EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe. “We wanted to develop the game further and for that we needed financing. It’s notoriously difficult for people in the creative sectors, like us, to sort out financing, because it requires a lot of development before you see potential return on investments. The tricky thing is to manoeuvre through that period. It requires patience…and cashflow. That’s where this loan came in handy, allowing us to grow much faster than we would have done had we relied on our base income stream.”

Today, the company is charging ahead on a growth path, planning to grow from 13 to 20 persons in 2020 and Klaus has no regrets: “Looking back, we definitely made sacrifices, but overall, I think we managed a good work/life balance.”

Company: Bedtime Digital Games

Type of business: video games

EIF financing: Cultural & Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS)EFSI

Financial intermediary: Vaekstfonden

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Denmark, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/dk

 

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