November 8, 2022, Spin-out startup from the Institute of Digital Games – University of Malta raises €8.5M fund lead by Griffin Gaming Partners and Microsoft’s M12 venture funds.

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  • Staff Work, founded by Professor Georgios N. Yannakakis, Director of the Institute of Digital Games – University of Malta, ranked as top 100 most promising AI company in the world, has raised $8.4 million (€8.5 million) in a series A funding. The round was led by Microsoft’s M12 Venture Fund and Griffin Gaming Partners.

Professor Alfred Vella, Rector of University of Malta recognized the importance of the entrepreneurship mind at the University: "Seeing globally recognized companies like Microsoft investing on a spin-out and alumni of the University of Malta, offers the ideal transfer of academic knowledge to the industry, and realizes the long-term strategic plan of the University"

The company, which has a subsidiary in Malta, hosted at the Takeoff Incubator, and multiple Institute of Digital Games alumni in their team, aims to automate game developing procedures like debugging and quality assurance testing. The company's AI and machine learning powered bots allow game makers to more effectively and efficiently test their products.

“Gaming is one of the trickiest user experiences for which to automate testing, and it therefore requires an utmost degree of technical talent and research combined with direct experience working in games,” said Pierre Planche, partner at Griffin Gaming Partners in a press release. “This is why we are very excited to be backing Christoffer, Lars, Benedikte, and the team to help streamline a growing pain and multi-billion-dollar industry expense that is top of mind for many game developers.”

Prof. Simon G. Fabri, Pro-Rector of Research and Knowledge Transfer commented “I take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Georgios Yannakakis on the new investments in Receiving investment funds from such prestigious organizations is truly a significant achievement that reflects Georgios' co-founded company's excellence in AI and Games research. It is also a positive boost for the reputation of our University and the TAKEOFF business incubator that makes us proud."

Professor Yannakakis, co-founder of commented the new deal: “We are thrilled with this new big round of investment for The credibility of our investors shows the future potential of the company on delivering AI-game testing tools that will boost game development. will be further expanding its activities in Malta employing the most talented students and alumni from the Institute of Digital Games and the UM.

The tools provided by enable game companies to change how they allocate their investments in human resources when labor and game development talent costs grow. Developers and play testers can concentrate on more creative tasks by automating more regular testing. currently works with mid-sized studios, however with the new funding, the business hopes to make its solution more widely accessible by 2023.