This Tunisian Gaming Startup Just Raised Some Fresh Funding

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Tunisian startup Polysmart, which designs video games, just raised 1.5 million Tunisian dinars (around $600,000).

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

This is the fifth fundraising round for the startup. The funding came from a single investor—CDC Gestion, a Tunisian public institution, said Ahmed Cheikhrouhou, chairman of the board of Polysmart.

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

“Polysmart is proud to have an investor that is partly governmental,” said Cheikhrouhou

The funding round shows the progress made by the government and institutional players in recognizing the creative startups in Tunisia and their potential, especially in the gaming domain, Cheikhrouhou said.

The startup intends to invest the funds to refine Veterans Online before its release. It also plans to open offices in Berlin and Dubai to acquire skilled workers who may not available in Tunisia.

“Video gaming is still emerging in Tunisia and some jobs and skills – such as video game marketing and artificial intelligence (AI) programming – are not yet in the market in the country,” said Cheikhrouhou.

“The Veterans Online game is in its closed beta stage and is not publicly available yet,” Cheikhrouhou said.

The Polysmart team is working on the content of the game before their worldwide launch, scheduled for September 2017, he added.

Tunisia Rising

Tunisian startups have been eliciting considerable investor interest.

Last month Tunisia-based expense reporting startup Expensya raised a fresh funding round worth $1.1 million from a group of investors.

Expensya allows SMEs to easily report their expenses by capturing them on a phone and hosting them in the cloud.

In March, Tunisian big data startup Datavora has raised over TD1 million in seed funding.

Investors included UGFS (United Gulf Financial Services-North Africa) and two Tunisian investment funds, personal investors, family and friends, and employees