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Xsolla Launches Game Investment Platform – Financial Post

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Innovative funding ecosystem aims to align the interests of independent game developers and accredited investors through a revenue-split structure

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Xsolla and its affiliates to contribute up to $40 million alongside accredited investors to further expand opportunities for developers on the new platform

LOS ANGELES — Xsolla, the leading video game commerce company, today announced the launch of its innovative solution for game developers and investors – Xsolla Game Investment Platform.

The company’s video game commerce tools have already helped more than 1,500 developers and publishers elevate their efforts to market, sell, connect and optimize over 2,400 games. Its goal is to help bring even more promising games to market through the Xsolla Game Investment Platform.

The platform is designed to achieve these important goals:

  • Simplify the fundraising process for independent developers and give them access to capital.
  • Introduce accredited investors to game projects selected by Xsolla’s experts.
  • Align the interests of independent game developers and accredited investors through a revenue-split structure.
  • Investors have the opportunity to diversify capital and risk across multiple projects.

“We’re very pleased to announce a new class of securities that earn a return from game revenues. Independent game developers have few ways of bringing their projects to life, and many investors have no easy way to filter and understand the opportunities in this ever-expanding segment of the gaming market,” said Chris Hewish, President of Xsolla. “Our expertise in video game monetization, combined with a large network of indie game developers, enables us to leverage our position to link developers with serious, accredited investors – and we can’t wait to see the next big game take off because of it.”

Background and Context
The gaming industry hit $174.9 billion in 2020, with smaller independent developers making up a growing and important part of the industry. Yet available capital to back this segment of the industry is fragmented, which makes it difficult for independent developers to find the right investor to support their efforts.

The Xsolla Game Investment Platform will offer game developers another avenue to obtain funding to finish and launch, while maintaining control over their product. Rather than spending time to seek out investment opportunities in the games market, investors can find them and their projects on the Xsolla Game Investment Platform. Xsolla is taking the idea of video game investing to the next level. The Xsolla Game Investment Platform will connect accredited investors directly with game developers with projects already in development and awaiting additional funding.

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The terms of the investment opportunities that are planned for the Xsolla Game Investment Platform will be revenue split-based, which will offer investors the potential to receive returns from the sales of games rather than waiting for a liquidity event in the case of equity-based investments. The revenue-split structure of the game securities is developed based on Xsolla’s experience fostering strong commercial relationships throughout the industry, and in partnership with leading independent game studios.

Xsolla is actively onboarding select investors and game developers each week to continue building a high-quality investment community. For more information, please visit www.xsolla.com/gip.

About Xsolla
Xsolla is the video game commerce company, powered by its Transaction Engine and Business Engine, that helps developers and publishers market, sell, connect and optimize their games globally. Serving only the video game industry, the Xsolla Transaction Engine powers the full suite of cloud-based tools to promote and monetize projects, while Xsolla Business Engine provides clients with the roadmap to maximize those tools, and connect them with industry partnerships to expand their business. The two work seamlessly together — for businesses of all sizes, from indie to enterprise — to solve the complexities of distribution, marketing and monetization so they can increase their audience, sales and revenue. Headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices worldwide, Xsolla operates as a merchant and seller of record for major gaming entities like Valve, Twitch, Roblox, Ubisoft, Epic Games and KRAFTON. For more information, please visit www.xsolla.com.

Important Message
The information contained herein is not investment advice and does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any security or that any transaction is suitable for any specific purposes or any specific person and is provided for information purposes only. Each investor should always carefully consider investments in any security and be comfortable with his/her understanding of the investment. This document does not constitute an offer to sell or exchange, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or exchange, any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or exchange would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. Accredited investors will be required to provide supporting documentation evidencing their accredited status. Any investment opportunities available on the Xsolla Games Investment Platform will be made through definitive investment documentation, which potential investors should review and consult with their legal, tax and financial advisors before investing. Xsolla is not an investment advisor, broker-dealer or crowdfunding portal and does not engage in any activities requiring any such registration.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210721005576/en/

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Contacts

Ryh-Ming Poon
Head of Global Communications
r.poon@xsolla.com

Brunswick Group
xsolla@brunswickgroup.com

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Why Global Investors Need Sustainable Investing Standards – Forbes

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The motto of sustainable investing is that you can do well while doing good. It has been shown that the doing well part is questionable since sustainable investing does not generate superior returns. The question remains: does sustainable investing really do good?

Unfortunately, confusion over what defines sustainable investing makes it difficult to measure whether an investment actually has a sustainable impact. This causes retail and institutional investors alike to engage in their own research in an attempt to figure out just how sustainable their investments really are.

Sustainable investing continues to attract large amounts of capital as investors want to contribute to positive change, such as reversing climate change, promoting social justice, and advocating for better governance. According to Bloomberg, assets under management (AUM) that are invested globally in sustainability funds and portfolios could reach $53 trillion by 2025, accounting for more than one-third of projected total AUM of $140.5 trillion.

Currently, Europe accounts for about half of global sustainable assets. European demand for sustainable investing has prompted 253 European funds to change their investment strategy or portfolio in 2020. In addition, Europe saw 505 new sustainable fund launches in 2020 alone.

More growth is being projected in Asia, especially Japan, where McKinsey has linked sustainability to a 400-year-old cultural ethos of shuchu kiyaku, to think of societal benefits, not just profits.

As noted in my previous article, the U.S. is also seeing strong growth in sustainable investing, which accounted for more than 25 percent of all money invested in U.S. stock and bond mutual funds in 2020.

The Greenwashing Effect

Given such strong investor demand for sustainable investing worldwide, the stakes are high to counter the ongoing concerns over greenwashing, in which companies overstate and exaggerate their positive impact on sustainability. It’s more than a problem of perception. One group of researchers define greenwashing “as a combination of misbehavior and misleading communication”—including intentionally fabricating false information.

It has become increasingly difficult for investors to see through greenwashing when companies present themselves as more sustainable or environmentally friendly than they really are. In one recent survey by Quilter Investors, greenwashing topped the list of concerns among 44 percent of investors surveyed. In another survey,  six out of ten investors find greenwashing to be a challenge for sustainable investing, especially as sustainable investing goes increasingly mainstream for investors and fund managers.

European Sustainable Investing Standards

Europe is well ahead of the U.S. in setting sustainable investing standards with the initial implementation of their Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The SFDR went into effect in March 2021 and sets the rules for sustainability-related information that the financial industry within the EU must disclose.

The objective is to prevent investment firms from greenwashing sustainability claims to make their investment funds seem more attractive. There are two aspects to sustainable investing, called double materiality, that the SFDR tries to uniformly measure. The first issue is whether a company or an investment actually has a sustainable impact on the environment or society.  The second is whether a company’s sustainable impact materially influences its investment performance? Also under the SFDR, investment managers will need to begin providing details into how they account for environment, social and governance (ESG) and other factors as part of their selection process for individual investments in their portfolios. As a result, it’s hoped that investors will gain more clarity.

The SFDR has received some criticism for potentially adding to the confusion of how funds are classified; however, proponents have hailed it as providing much-needed transparency. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Wolfgang Kuhn, director of financial sector strategies at ShareAction, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable investing, said, “We want fund managers to nail their colors to the mast and say: ‘This is sustainability for us.’ Then as the client you can hopefully better decide whether that works for you or not.”

How Sustainable Is It?

As sustainable investing explodes in popularity worldwide, developing and adopting standards is a global imperative. The industry needs a comprehensive framework to provide a true apples-to-apples comparison that will allow investors to weigh one investment against another. Otherwise, investors will be left to wonder and guess just how sustainable any investment really is. SFDR is an opportunity to provide better measurement for how well companies and funds perform along sustainable investing criteria and needs to be expanded into the U.S. and beyond.

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Canada sets plan to merge investment regulators into one agency – BNN

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Canada’s securities regulators plan to merge two industry groups that oversee financial advisers into a single organization, a move intended to address years of complaints about the overlapping roles and higher costs of the groups.

Provincial regulators published Tuesday a framework for how to combine the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, which regulates investment advisory firms that sell a broad range of securities, with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, which oversees firms that sell funds.

They also plan to merge two existing investor protection funds into a new one that’s independent of the expanded regulatory body.

Among other things, IIROC and MFDA levy fines and other penalties on individual financial advisers who break the rules.

IIROC oversees about 175 firms, including full-service investment dealers including BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc., while the MFDA supervises about 90 mutual fund dealers, such as CIBC Securities Inc. and National Bank Investments Inc. Some financial firms are forced to be members of both agencies because their employees hold different licenses for selling investment products.

Combining the staffs of the two bodies “will be critical during the creation of the new self-regulatory organization and investor protection fund, and will be crucial to their future success,” Louis Morisset, the chair and president of Canadian Securities Administrators, said in a statement. The CSA is an umbrella group of Canada’s provincial securities watchdogs.

In late 2019, the CSA began studying the existing framework. It created a working committee to determine the structure of the new organization and oversee the integration of the two groups. The review prompted both the MFDA and IIROC to publish their own proposals.

The combination is aimed at saving costs for investment dealers while aligning and streamlining their processes, the CSA said. A majority of the new organization’s board members and its chairperson will be independent, and the group will be required to solicit CSA comment on its priorities, business plan and budget, according to a statement.

The CSA will also consider the possibility of incorporating additional registration categories into the newly minted entity.

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UPDATED FACT SHEET: Bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act – Whitehouse.gov

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On July 28, the President and the bipartisan group announced agreement on the details of a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure, which was immediately taken up in the Senate for consideration. The legislation includes around $550 billion in new federal investment in America’s roads and bridges, water infrastructure, resilience, internet, and more. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will grow the economy, enhance our competitiveness, create good jobs, and make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just.

The legislation will create good-paying, union jobs. With the President’s Build Back Better Agenda, these investments will add, on average, around 2 million jobs per year over the course of the decade, while accelerating America’s path to full employment and increasing labor force participation.

President Biden believes that we must invest in our country and in our people by creating good-paying union jobs, tackling the climate crisis, and growing the economy sustainably and equitably for decades to come. The bipartisan legislation will deliver progress towards those objectives for working families across the country. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

  • Makes the largest federal investment in public transit ever
  • Makes the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak
  • Makes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system
  • Makes the largest investment in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history, delivering clean water to millions of families
  • Ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet
  • Helps us tackle the climate crisis by making the largest investment in clean energy transmission and EV infrastructure in history; electrifying thousands of school and transit buses across the country; and creating a new Grid Deployment Authority to build a resilient, clean, 21st century electric grid

The President promised to work across the aisle to deliver results for working families. He believes demonstrating that democracies can deliver is a critical challenge for his presidency. Today’s agreement shows that we can come together to position American workers, farmers, and businesses to compete and win in the 21st century.

Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects

One in five miles, or 173,000 total miles, of our highways and major roads and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition. Bridges in poor condition pose heightened challenges in rural communities, which often may rely on a single bridge for the passage of emergency service vehicles. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest $110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges, and major projects, and reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years building on bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bills passed out of committee earlier this year. This investment will repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. The bill includes a total of $40 billion of new funding for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. The bill also includes around $16 billion for major projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs but will deliver significant economic benefits to communities.

Safety

America has one of the highest road fatality rates in the industrialized world. The legislation invests $11 billion in transportation safety programs, including a new, $5 billion Safe Streets for All program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities in their communities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians. It includes a new program to provide grants to community owned utilities to replace leaky and obsolete cast iron and bare steel natural gas pipelines, some of which are over 100 years old. It will more than double funding directed to programs that improve the safety of people and vehicles in our transportation system, including highway safety, truck safety, and pipeline and hazardous materials safety.

Public Transit

America’s transit infrastructure is inadequate – with a multibillion-dollar repair backlog, representing more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems in need of replacement. The legislation includes $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit, and improve accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities. That is in addition to continuing the existing transit programs for five years as part of surface transportation reauthorization. In total, the new investments and reauthorization provide $89.9 billion in guaranteed funding for public transit over the next five years. This is the largest Federal investment in public transit in history, and devotes a larger share of funds from surface transportation reauthorization to transit in the history of the programs. It will repair and upgrade aging infrastructure, modernize bus and rail fleets, make stations accessible to all users through a new program with $1.75 billion in dedicated funding, and bring transit service to new communities with an additional $8 billion for Capital Investment Grants. It will replace thousands of transit vehicles, including buses, with clean, zero emission vehicles through an additional $5.75 billion, of which 5 percent is dedicated to training the transit workforce to maintain and operate these vehicles. And, it will benefit communities of color since these households are twice as likely to take public transportation and many of these communities lack sufficient public transit options.

Passenger and Freight Rail

Unlike highways and transit, rail lacks a multi-year funding stream to address deferred maintenance, enhance existing corridors, and build new lines in high-potential locations. The legislation positions Amtrak and rail to play a central role in our transportation and economic future. This is the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago. The legislation invests $66 billion in rail to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Within these totals, $22 billion would be provided as grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.

EV Infrastructure

U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. The President believes that must change. The bill invests $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States and is a critical element in the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs. The bill will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. Federal funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities.

Electric Buses

American school buses play a critical role in expanding access to education, but they are also a significant source of pollution. The legislation will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide, including in rural communities, helping school districts across the country buy clean, American-made, zero emission buses, and replace the yellow school bus fleet for America’s children. The legislation also invests $5 billion in zero emission and clean buses and $2.5 billion for ferries. These investments will drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, creating jobs and supporting domestic manufacturing, while also removing diesel buses from some of our most vulnerable communities. In addition, they will help the more than 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers who breathe polluted air on their rides to and from school. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other health problems that hurt our communities and cause students to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities.

Reconnecting Communities

Too often, past transportation investments divided communities – like the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans or I-81 in Syracuse – or it left out the people most in need of affordable transportation options. In particular, significant portions of the interstate highway system were built through Black neighborhoods. The legislation creates a first-ever program to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure. The program will fund planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids, parks, or other infrastructure through $1 billion of dedicated funding in addition to historic levels of major projects funding, for which these investments could also qualify.

Airports, Ports, and Waterways

The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors. According to some rankings, no U.S. airports rank in the top 25 of airports worldwide. Our ports and waterways need repair and reimagination too. The bill invests $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies. Modern, resilient, and sustainable port, airport, and freight infrastructure will support U.S. competitiveness by removing bottlenecks and expediting commerce and reduce the environmental impact on neighboring communities.

Resilience and Western Water Infrastructure

Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, airport power goes down, or schools get flooded. Last year alone, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each – a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion. People of color are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. The legislation makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks, with an investment of over $50 billion. This includes funds to protect against droughts, floods and wildfires, in addition to a major investment in weatherization. The bill is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.

Clean Drinking Water

Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. The legislation’s $55 billion investment represents the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines and the dangerous chemical PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl). It will replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines. From rural towns to struggling cities, the legislation invests in water infrastructure across America, including in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities that need it most.

High-Speed Internet

Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected. Yet, by one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds – a particular problem in rural communities throughout the country. The legislation’s $65 billion investment – which builds on the billions of dollars provided for broadband deployment in the American Rescue Plan – will help ensure every American has access to reliable high-speed internet with an historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment, just as the federal government made a historic effort to provide electricity to every American nearly one hundred years ago.

The bill will also help lower prices for internet service by requiring funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan, by requiring providers to display a “Broadband Nutrition Label” that will help families comparison shop for a better legislation, and by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate service. It will also help close the digital divide by passing the Digital Equity Act (which creates new grant programs for digital inclusion), by requiring the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules banning digital redlining, and by creating a new, permanent program to help more low-income households access the internet. Over one in four households will be eligible for this new Affordable Connectivity Benefit.

Environmental Remediation

In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, a higher percentage than for Americans overall. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. The legislation invests $21 billion in environmental remediation, making the largest investment in addressing the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods in American history, creating good-paying union jobs in hard-hit energy communities and advancing economic and environmental justice. The bill includes funds to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells.

Power Infrastructure

As the recent Texas power outages demonstrated, our aging electric grid needs urgent modernization. A Department of Energy study found that power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70 billion annually. The legislation’s roughly $65 billion investment includes the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It creates a new Grid Deployment Authority, invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience. It invests in demonstration projects and research hubs for next generation technologies like advanced nuclear, carbon capture, and clean hydrogen.

Offsets

In the years ahead, the legislation will generate significant economic benefits. It is financed through a combination of redirecting unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees, strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to crypto currencies, and other bipartisan measures, in addition to the revenue generated from higher economic growth as a result of the investments.

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