Quest Hunter, the escape room marketplace, has opened a public fundraising round on Funderbeam, the cross-border fundraising and trading platform for private companies.

Quest Hunter is focused on becoming the single reference point for real life escape room entertainment, enabling anyone to discover and experience the immersive games all over the world. It provides operators with “seamless customer support” and consumers “the ability to find the right escape room opportunity” for them and book easily online.

Originating in Japan, escape rooms have grown in popularity in the past few years. It is estimated that the number of permanent escape rooms worldwide has grown from zero, at the outset of 2010, to at least 2,800 by July 2015 and approximately 8,700 by January 2017 (based on rooms registered to escape room directories).

It is estimated that the number will more than double and by mid-2019 there will be more than 20,000 rooms worldwide. With a range of themes from kid friendly, family focused to horror and adventure, the sector has something to offer for everyone.

Founded in 2015, Quest Hunter has successfully rolled out its services to cover many popular Russian and Hungarian city destinations The next phase of growth will be a city by city roll out in the UK and, in anticipation of this, it moved its headquarters to the UK in 2017.

Founder and CEO Andrey Kalinchuk has worked in the technology and media industries for 15 years, having founded an IT-outsourcing company over a decade ago.

Having secured substantial private indications already, the public fundraise round is now open, providing investors and escape room devotees an opportunity to access this fast-growing sector.

Andrey Kalinchuk, founder and CEO, said: “Escape room entertainment has seen explosive growth over the past 5 years and continues to grow apace.

“The UK in particular has seen growth across all types of escape room stories, with adventure and mystery themes built for families or teambuilding activities especially popular. Bringing our Quest Hunter model to the UK will support, in particular, individual escape room hosts by providing turnkey customer support and enable UK consumers to discover and book experiences across the whole sector.”

Nick Pendleton, lead investor, said: “I’m asked to invest in a lot of businesses so have to be selective, but when an established global growth trend meets a great founder, solving a real problem, with clear traction in two countries and the opportunity to open in many more, I want to get involved.

“Escape room players are compelled to seek out new challenges and operators want to concentrate on what they do best – creating new experiences for their customers. So, Quest Hunter supports the needs of both sides of the market and helps grow this exciting sector as a whole.”

Kaidi Ruusalepp, founder and CEO of Funderbeam, added: “We are delighted that Quest Hunter have chosen to use our cross-border fundraising and trading platform for their fundraising round. With the sector seeing huge growth around the world, this growth capital will enable Quest Hunter to realise their ambitions here in the UK and in their global expansion strategy.”