Swedish esports platform Challengermode has successfully closed an external financing round of $12million. Led by eWTP Innovation Fund, the global investment arm of the Alibaba Group, the investment will be used to enable further growth, international expansion and accelerated monetization.
With additional investors including Telia Ventures, GP Bullhound, Back in Black Capital and Swedish soccer legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic, this funding comes at a time when esports are collectively reporting higher Average Minute Audience (AMA) numbers than many traditional sports including tennis, basketball and rugby union. Today, more than 2.5billion people worldwide play video games, and more than 220million people watch professional esports tournaments every month.
Pursuing a mission to make esports more accessible to everyone by enabling gamers to easily play competitions across any device or console, while simultaneously building communities and delivering monetization at scale for organisers of all kinds, Challengermode has swiftly secured its position as one of the fastest growing grassroots esports platforms. With millions of competitions hosted this year to date in Europe alone, in addition to partnerships with the world’s largest digital festival DreamHack, global football organization FIFA and renowned esports team Fnatic, the business continues to go from strength-to-strength.
With this additional funding, Challengermode will focus on enabling a growing number of brands, content creators, game developers and professional tournament organizers to reach, engage and monetize their target audiences through esports. Further technology development will enable the business to make the competitive gaming experience as seamless as possible, by offering ways for game developers to access its technology and new partnerships. It will also enable expansion into North America, accelerating Challengermode’s already strong user growth and leveraging new monetization opportunities.
Robel Efrem, co-founder and CEO of Challengermode, said: “We are very excited to close this new financing round with the support of a strong set of investors who share our vision for esports. With the additional backing we’re able to double down on our core mission of delivering the best competitive gaming experience to each and everyone’s home, in any game.
“Our promise to the esports industry is that we will – regardless of player ability or experience – provide a platform that enables anyone to participate in esports. That means going beyond just making tournaments easy to host to creating a fun and inclusive community”.
CY Chen of Joyme Capital (eWTP Capital, Gaming Fund) added: “We are delighted to bring Challengermode into eWTP’s portfolio. Its position as a leader in the rapidly growing esports market makes it a great fit for us. Since the company launched in 2014, it has continued to achieve significant milestones in terms of growth, product development and customer acquisition. We are looking forward to continuing to support the management team in successfully building, developing and growing the business to its full potential.”
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