• Shanti Bergel

Welcome, Treehouse

Transcend is pleased to announce our investment in Treehouse Games!


Treehouse was founded by veteran game developers Michael Chu and Ryan Sullivan with profound personal experience and insight to the collaborative nature of game communities and an unshakable drive to create games that will be the best way for friends to spend time together. As Michael notes in his inaugural post:


“Ryan and I first teamed up almost a decade ago, as leads of a student game project that helped us break into the games industry. Now, Ryan is a veteran from multiple indie startups and co-founded Sirvo Studios in 2016. I’ve been a product lead at Riot Games for the last 7 years, working all across League of Legends…Together, we are creating meaningful collaborative play that serves a growing, global audience of players who use games as their favorite way to hang out.


This audience is massive and still growing fast. There are millions of players who don’t think of themselves as “gamers” but use games every day to interact with friends. For them, games are simply a wonderful way to socialize — just as fun as going out to dinner or meeting up for coffee.”


In fact, the power of games to connect people has never been more apparent than right now as many of us around the world shelter-in-place in response to the pandemic and turn to games as a primary way to socialize and make a connection through play. Industry records have resultantly been broken at a dizzying pace in recent months:

  • US quarterly revenue ($10.9B)

  • WW monthly digital revenue ($10.5B)

  • Twitch day hours (34M, Valorant)

  • Monthly digital, console (5M, Animal Crossing)

  • Monthly hardware (Switch)

  • Weekly mobile installs (1.2B)

While the tide of new records will hopefully subside before long as we all return to some sense of normalcy, the memories and connections that we have made via our favorite game communities will stay with us. Against this backdrop, we are excited to back Michael, Ryan, and the Treehouse team. From their days developing games together at university to their work at Riot and Sirvo, we are inspired by their focus on fostering a sense of belonging through careful stewardship of the shared player journey. Their vision for inclusive, cooperative play that captures the camaraderie of a road trip is both timeless and timely.


My partners and I here at Transcend are fortunate to partner with the Treehouse team at the beginning of their exciting new journey and are thrilled to welcome them to the Transcend portfolio. If that sounds interesting, please check in on them - they’re hiring!


About Transcend Fund

The Transcend Fund is an early stage venture capital firm that partners with some of the most ambitious and talented founders in the game industry to collaboratively build the future of digital entertainment.

Founded in San Francisco by gaming veterans, Transcend Fund operates remotely with team members around the world. Our portfolio features a range of high growth digital entertainment companies including thatgamecompany, Singularity 6, Nifty Games, Treehouse Games, Stress Level Zero, Maestro, Bunch, Spatial, and several additional exciting but unannounced new ventures.

More information about Transcend can be found on our website. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news from around the Transcend ecosystem.

About Shanti Bergel

Shanti is the founding partner of Transcend and a 30 year game industry veteran.

His global operating experience spans every major platform and business model transition of the last several decades and is animated by a career-long fascination with how changes in technology and distribution affect products, services, and communities.

Shanti is a recognized member of the Techcrunch List, speaks fluent Japanese, and is a frequent speaker on early stage investment, M&A, and strategic partnerships in digital entertainment.