Yes, it is 2016 and this is how sports arenas are looking like during eSports events nowadays:
Staples Center in Los Angeles – crowd fills the place to watch the League of Legends championship finals.
By the way, ESPN (yeah, the sports channel) has since a few years a separate business unit (and tv channel) specialised on eSports.
Oh yeah, Chinese internet superpower Tencent (the one that owns WeChat) also owns majority stakes in League of Legends.
It’s totally fine if League of Legends or eSports do not ring a bell to you at the moment. We also understand that some investors might be a bit skeptical about gaming companies. Plenty of investors, though, are not. Check out how EA Games shares have been trading in the past five years:
Electronic Arts share prices: From $21.3 in September 2011 to $83.4 in September 2016
For us at Swiss Startup Factory, investing in a gaming company was a calculated move that is proving every day to have been a great one.
In January, Flurin Jenal and Silvan Bauser have joined SSUF W16 accelerator batch. Both graduates from Zurich School of Design and Arts, these hybrid tech/business/design founders have put their iMacs to work and built a solid and fast growing company right here from inside SSUF.
Since W16 Demo Day in April, Struckd has released the first version of their app which already has more than 2000 active users. This is mainly due to the hard work and determination of both founders who have “Focused on finding a more quick & easy level creation that allows the users to build simple yet challenging games and can be easily share with other users”.
Struckd at the moment lives an interesting moment as a business: While founders have clear proof that problem/solution fit has been found, they are currently in the middle of a fundraising process to keep developing and increasing traction for their game-creation platform. To increase the reach of their product, founders have engaged into a global partnership with advertising Agency Young & Rubicam to develop a global marketing strategy and increase traction.
“It was crucial that SSUF directed us towards asking the right questions” says Silvan Bauser. “We were not only challenged to build a great product but also had access to a great network of partners and mentors that helped us to reach a higher traction”.
For us, at SSUF, it is a huge satisfaction to see the two founders who joined our program with a vision and lots of hopes to be at the moment working from the global headquarters of Young & Rubicam in New York City and exploring a new market for their product.
Keep up with the good work, guys, and game on!