LegionFarm, a platform that connects video game players with professional gamers, has raised $6 million in funding, the company said Thursday.
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The startup pairs casual gamers with professional gamers who they can learn from, play with, and win more games.
“It’s not to play with random (people), but to play with good, friendly, skilled teammates,” CEO Alex Beliankin said in an interview with Crunchbase News.
Beliankin has a background in gaming and was a professional gamer from 2008 to 2010. He saw the lack of opportunities for highly-skilled players at the top of gaming leaderboards to turn their hobby into a profession.
“When I was a pro player myself, there were not enough opportunities to monetize my skill or my content or anything,” Beliankin said, adding that new distributing platforms have emerged since to help people monetize their content.
Beliankin’s parents and friends told him there wasn’t a future in gaming, and at one point when Beliankin was playing a game with his friends in his room and being loud, his father charged in and destroyed his computer.
“I was so angry at him and I told him I was going to turn it into a new profession and create 1 million new jobs,” Beliankin said.
Beliankin dabbled in projects similar to LegionFarm, but officially founded the company in 2016. Since then, it went through the Y Combinator accelerator and has now raised $7.5 million in total VC funding, and has about 1,200 monthly active professional players per month, who on average make about $800 monthly.
Silicon Valley Bank, Y Combinator, Scrum VC, Altair Capital, Kevin Lin of Twitch and Ankur Nagpal all participated in the round. Other investors in the company include TMT Investments and Denis Smetnev of Vimbox.
“The world is moving to new realities, VR, AR, gaming — and in the fiery fields of computer games, some are just killing it (pun intended),” TMT Investments partner and LegionFarm board member Igor Shoifot said in an email. “What we, at TMT Investments, loved about LegionFarm (at first sight) was the kind of winning combination that every Silicon Valley VC is seeking: a fast-growing young industry, a highly viral product, healthy unit economics, and focus on building fast growth fundamentals.”
The new $6 million in funding will be used to invest in the product, the company’s desktop and mobile applications, and its hardware supply program.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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