Fatfish flying with key Virtual Gaming Worlds appointment and launch of applied AI lab

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By Colin Hay - 
Fatfish ASX FFG tech gaming Rhys Campbell VGW appointment

Tech venture firm Fatfish Group (ASX: FFG) has kicked off 2024 with a number of key developments that may shape its own and the multi-billion dollar social gaming industry’s future.

Just weeks after unveiling a new 100%-owned subsidiary named Fatfish Applied AI Lab (FAI), the company has named highly-regarded Rhys Campbell as its senior director of social gaming.

Mr Campbell has a proven track record in the social gaming sector and a reputation for building exceptional, delivery focused, software engineering teams.

He is well-known for his role as a pre-revenue employee with leading global social gaming company Virtual Gaming Worlds (VGW), which achieved full financial year revenues of $4.3 billion during 22/23.

As the vice president of engineering, he was responsible for the development of the engineering department and was heavily involved in the growth of popular products such as Chumba Casino and Global Poker, enabling significant scale and growth throughout his tenure.

As a technical contributor, he drove the architectural design and engineering practices to allow VGW products to be built in a cost effective, performant and scalable manner.

Fatfish Applied AI Lab established

Earlier this month, Fatfish revealed it had formed FAI to further its incubation business.

The company made an initial $1 million investment into FAI and intends to invest up to $7m in further capital from operating cash flow over the next three years.

FAI will carry on Fatfish’s core mission of incubating and investing into disruptive technologies in both consumer and enterprise online services.

In particular, FAI will focus on using emerging generative AI technologies to find commercial applications in verticals that Fatfish is operating in—namely digital entertainment, fintech and e-commerce businesses.

The company is re-deploying some of its technical personnel with experience in big data, machine-learning experiences to FAI, while continuously being on the lookout to recruit global talents that could help with FAI’s mission.

Talking to Small Caps today, Fatfish chief executive officer Kin Wai Lau said, “Today we are small fish in the global social gaming and AI world, but with our recent appointment of one of the architects of VGW’s industry leading success and backed by our expertise in incubating future leaders in digital entertainment, we believe we can become a whale.”

Major computing development

Fatfish chair Larry Gan said generative AI presents what the company’s management considers to be the most important development in the history of computing since the explosion of the internet.

He said a  direct example of how generative AI will reshape computing is video game development, where the technology will shorten development time frames and, with self-learning decision making algorithms, create entirely new and never-before-seen interactive experiences.

“We are at the beginning of the generative AI technology era. The business opportunities we see are as exciting as investing in internet businesses in late 1995,” Mr Gan said.

“An AI ecosystem will become a key ingredient for any business to be economically competitive in the near future.”

As part of its strategy, FAI intends to invest or acquire generative AI-oriented start-ups for its technology or talents.

Fatfish will keep the market posted on any significant investments or acquisitions by FAI and seek approval from the ASX or relevant authorities if and as needed.