Network Next, a video game-focused software developer based in Santa Monica, emerged from stealth mode Jan. 23 to announce a $3.1 million seed round led by Santa Monica and Germany-based Bitkraft Esports Ventures.

The raise brings the company’s total funding to $4.4 million.

Bitkraft finalized a $125 million venture capital fund Jan. 16 after previously raising $18.5 million in 2017 for e-sports incubation and investment.

Network Next believes its new high-speed network can revitalize the gaming industry. Game developers that partner with Network Next integrate its software into new or existing games, and it runs in the background to find the fastest way through internet service providers to get data from one server to the next, decreasing latency.

“We believe that game traffic should be prioritized above other internet traffic and could not be more thrilled to partner with investors who share that belief,” said Chief Executive Glenn Fiedler. “With this new investment, we’ll be able to grow our team and continue the development of our technology, which will ensure that we can deliver on our vision.”

Boston-based Bain Capital Ventures and London-based Velo Partners contributed to the funding round. So did San Diego-based game developer Psyonix, which also signed on as Network Next’s first client.

“We were motivated to invest in Network Next because of Glenn’s experience in the deep trenches of network code architecture and development in multiplayer games. Not only has he built a great team around him, but he has a thorough understanding of the challenges game developers face when it comes to the network side of their service operations,” said Bitkraft Founding Partner Jens Hilgers. “Bitkraft believes that Network Next is solving a very real problem for developers of multiplayer games, and most critically, for anyone operating an esports game.”

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PSC Biotech Ups Software Game

Pomona-based PSC Biotech Corp., which makes software for biotech companies, announced an update to its document management software.

The Adaptive Compliance Engine, nicknamed ACE, helps life science companies manage projects, reports and file regulatory and internal records. ACE now offers application programming interface (API) capabilities, which will allow use of the engine across all software platforms, increasing the tasks it can complete.

“The inclusion of a powerful API was a huge goal of ours in order for our clients to integrate ACE into their other best of breed life sciences enterprise IT applications,” said Chief Executive John Clapham.

PSC’s ACE software can now fulfill manufacturing applications, supply chain management, product life cycle tracking, accounting and research tasks in addition to its other duties.

Executive Director of Business Development Robert Kum said clients requested the addition of the application interface, adding PSC is “excited to announce this is now available.”

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New Faces at Drinks

Drinks Holdings Inc., headquartered in Glendale, announced a suite of new hires Jan. 10, four months after it raised a Series B of $15 million. The company runs an e-commerce platform for wine drinkers.

Joining the team is newly hired Chief Financial Officer Kristopher Scott, who previously worked as chief financial officer for Culver City-based Topson Downs of California Inc. for four years.

Peter Wolfert, Drinks’ new chief technology officer, begins his tenure at the company after serving in the same role for Shopper Exchange One Market, a developer of software for retailers and brand partners.

Drinks hired Kelly Martin as chief compliance officer, a promotion from her previous role as vice president of compliance and regulatory affairs. Martin oversees the alcoholic beverage delivery firm’s licensing, compliance with regulations and distribution. Before Drinks, Martin worked as the director of compliance for United Kingdom-based Direct Wines Ltd.

Staff reporter Samson Amore can be reached at samore@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8335.

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