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The team behind one of the world’s leading mobile football games has raised a further £1m from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and Mercia’s own funds.

The latest investment will enable Invincibles Studio to build on the success of its Soccer Manager game with the launch of two new football action games. Soccer Manager enables players to build their own dream team from over 25,000 official FIFPRO licensed players and watch them take part in engaging and realistic match action.

The game has over 50 million registered users drawn from every country in the world. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta acts as its global ambassador, and it also has partnerships with Inter Milan and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC as well as the German league DFL, the Scottish Premier League and FIFPRO.

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Invincibles was founded in Preston in 2004 by brothers Chris, Steven and Andy Gore and their friend Peter Adams. Mercia first invested in 2014. Since then the business has secured repeat funding rounds from Mercia, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and other investors to support its ongoing growth. The company has more than doubled its revenue in the past two years and has continued to build its management team.

Invincibles is now led by Chris Gore as CEO, together with Max Lowe as CFO and COO, and Johnny Coghlan – who has overseen the development and launch of hit mobile game franchises including Angry Birds and Cut The Rope – as CMO. It is chaired by Nick Wheelwright, former CEO of Codemasters and founder of Playground games which was acquired by Microsoft. Invincibles employs over 55 staff in Preston and Leeds.

Chris Gore, CEO, says: “Our vision for Soccer Manager was to create a truly immersive game that uses real football players and is genuinely free to play. With the support of our investors, we have continued to enhance it over the years and attract a global audience. Following two years of strong growth, we are excited to be working on two new football games and look forward to unveiling them in the year ahead.”

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Julian Viggars of Mercia added: “The games market is one of the fastest growing in the world, and Invincibles has become one of the leading independent football games studios within that. Following the global success of Soccer Manager, this latest investment will enable the studio to build on its reputation and reach an even wider audience with the launch of new games.”

Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank said: “The games market continues to develop at a rapid rate, with businesses finding new ways to market, develop, and keep users engaged with different alternatives. Invincibles has a long history in this space and it is clear it has used funding in each stage of its growth journey to remain one of the North and UK’s most exciting game creators.”

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The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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