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This is a story of the right timing and right people and the magic that can happen when alignment happens. And also how that led to our firm investing in GameClub which is based in New York City. GameClub is the all-you-can-play subscription home for gaming’s greatest hits, delivering unlimited, exclusive access to a library of over 100 timeless titles.

GameClub’s launch trailer

The story begins about 4 years ago in Fall 2015 when Paul Heydon, our co-founder, met Dan Sherman, co-founder of GameClub at a dinner. Dan was Co-founder and President of Tilting Point at the time. Paul and Dan had some interaction over the years and the key points that stood out to Paul were that Dan was a humble, ambitious, honest operator with an incredible network in the game sector. …

Why Toronto is crushing Silicon Valley, The way Silicon Valley crushed Boston

Chris Albinson, Co-Founder BreakawayGrowth

Published May 20th, 2019

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On a chilly day in November 1993, we were standing ankle deep in a slushy field with Sir Terry Matthews, the founder, and CEO of Newbridge Networks. Terry looked out on the partially frozen marsh and declared that we were going to build two new ten-story towers full of engineers in this marsh in the next twelve months. Peter Charbonneau, the CFO, and a fellow Canadian looked at Terry and me and asked if we should we wait for spring, build one tower first, or at least look to lease out some of the space to Nortel, the local giant at the time. Terry flatly replied, “We will fill them and then we will need two more towers beside them, let’s get it done!” It was six years after he founded Newbridge and Terry Matthews, an immigrant to Canada from Wales, was still the driving force in the company. Weeks before he even incorporated in 1986, he told high-tech lawyer Jim Paul that “Newbridge would very quickly reach $1 billion in annual revenues.’’

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Paul Heydon, co-founder of BGF with the AOB team (Jon Zweig, CEO, Bryan Buskas, COO, Paul West, VP, EMEA & Jamie Allinson, Developer Growth, EMEA) at Google Playtime in Berlin, Oct 2018

This is a story of serendipity and how that led to our firm leading the Series B for AppOnboard (“AOB”) which was announced today. AOB is a mobile app demo and analytics platform that powers app demos, which allow users to instantly experience an app or game without a download.

The story begins in January 2017 when Andrew Allison, co-founder of Gawkbox, introduced Paul Heydon, our co-founder, to Jon Zweig, founder of AOB. Paul had led the seed round at Gawkbox on behalf of his last firm and Jon was an angel in that round too. Jon had founded Jirbo in 2008 which was one of the first app developers on the iOS App Store. They ended up building their own video ad tech to monetise their apps which led to pivoting the whole company to Adcolony which was the first mobile video platform company. …

We are excited to announce our venture firm, Breakaway Growth Fund (“BGF”), based in San Francisco and London. Our two general partners are Chris Albinson and Paul Heydon. We have a combined 50+ years of experience as Founders, operators, investors, and advisors in companies in North America and Europe.

Our approach and focus are different in multiple ways. Rather than focus on a single stage or sector or region, we are focused on backing bold Founders of capital efficient startups. We will consider deals from seed to late stage — but we put a strong emphasis on the team, as every business is about the people. Have they worked together before? Is the culture amazing? Do the Founders truly have each other’s back? …


BreakawayGrowth Fund

We help bold founders build extraordinary companies.

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