TCG invests $30 mln in tabletop game company Exploding Kittens

TCG Capital Management has invested $30 million in Exploding Kittens. Based in Los Angeles, Exploding Kittens is a tabletop game company.


LOS ANGELES, C.A., DATE — Exploding Kittens, the leading independent tabletop game company in the US, announced today a $30mm investment by TCG Capital Management (“TCG”), an affiliate of The Chernin Group, LLC, to finance its continued growth. Exploding Kittens will invest the capital to develop more games for its fans, expand its IP into live events and other formats, build out its team, control more of its production and distribution, and continue to experiment with innovative ideas around gameplay to help further build the community.

Founded by visionary game makers and creators Elan Lee and Matthew Inman, the company aims to inspire people to put down their screens and connect, laugh, and play in the physical world. In 2015, the duo turned to crowdfunding to get their first game, Exploding Kittens, off the ground and in just 30 days raised $8.8mm from over 219,000 backers. Since then, the team has launched Bears vs Babies, You’ve Got Crabs, On a Scale of One to T-Rex, and Throw Throw Burrito – the world’s first dodgeball card game.

“We started this company because we had a game we thought was pretty fun, and we wanted to know if other people thought so too. Our fans have spent the last five years finding more and more amazing ways to shout, ‘YES!!’ and we wanted to keep giving them cool new products. As a small team that doesn’t get to sleep much, we needed some help to keep up with the demand and the pace,” said Elan Lee, Co-founder of Exploding Kittens. “TCG is the perfect partner for us because they share our vision for the future. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Exploding Kittens, like other consumer companies in The Chernin Group’s historical and current portfolio such as Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Food52, has built a valuable community around its brand. TCG believes Exploding Kittens has the fan base and creative horsepower to capitalize on the fast-growing board games market which is projected to grow to more than $9B by 2023, representing a 17% annual growth rate.

“Elan, Matt, and the Exploding Kittens team have done the hard work,” said Jesse Jacobs, Co­founder and Partner of TCG. “They have harnessed their creativity and game design skills to create and distribute multiple games that millions of people love without spending much, if any, capital on marketing. Tabletop games are a misunderstood, fast-growing segment of the media industry. We are thrilled to back Exploding Kittens, which will continue to flourish as people look for some levity and fun in their lives.”

In addition to new game launches, Exploding Kittens will host its first gaming convention, Burning Cat, in May 2020 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. The company sees Burning Cat as a re-invention of the typical fan convention with more emphasis placed on community, tabletop gaming, and actually having fun. Attendees will experience new game designers showing off experimental prototypes, the infamous Exploding Kittens Vending Machine, hand-picked vendors showing off their latest and greatest games and accessories, and a massive arena in the center with ludicrous stunts and insane spectacles every hour on the hour.

Exploding Kittens, Inc. (“Exploding Kittens”) is a Los Angeles-based tabletop games company behind the popular tabletop namesake card game Exploding Kittens. The company was launched in January 2015 with a crowdfunding campaign that ultimately raised a record-breaking $8.8mm in 30 days. Exploding Kittens was founded by Matt Inman, the author of the popular webcomic The Oatmeal, and Elan Lee, the former Chief Design Officer at Xbox.

Founded by Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacobs, and Mike Kerns, TCG Capital Management, an affiliate of The Chernin Group, LLC, is an investment firm dedicated to building consumer businesses. The TCG team has a track record of working with world-class consumer brands in media, commerce, and consumer-tech, including Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Headspace, MeatEater, The Action Network, and Barstool Sports.