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Gankster, an all-in-one competitive gaming and esports platform, has raised $4.25 million in seed funding. The round was co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Hetz Ventures. Overwolf and Samsung Next participated alongside angel investors Doron Nir (founder and president of StreamElements), Doron Kagan (founder of Gameplay Galaxy) and Daniel Burns (partner at Oakvale Capital).
Gankster’s goal is to build the backend infrastructure and operating system for competitive gaming. Through its network and tools for teams, individuals, publishers, tournament organizers and brands, Gankster seeks to centralize the esports ecosystem on to one platform.
The company is casting a wide net. Casual competitors and hardcore players can form teams, compete, practice in scrims and track match data using Gankster. According to Gankster, the product has been particularly popular with collegiate and women’s teams. It also boasts the support of major esports organizations — Immortals, Dignitas, XSET and TSM.
“For the everyday gamer, finding a team and competitions is a challenge as the market is fragmented and traditionally relies on Discord and spreadsheets,” commented Uriya Schwarz, CEO of Gankster. “[The platform] offers a comprehensive and accessible environment for professional growth for every gamer in the world, from the pros to the casual players, by connecting all steps of the competitive gamer’s journey in one place.”
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Gankster uses direct API access to supported titles to automate many of the organizational tasks required to run gaming competitions. This includes features like Discord integrations, a practice booking system, player recruitment and social team calendar. Currently, it supports League of Legends, Valorant, Rocket League and Dota 2. The company plans to support mobile and battle royale games soon.
Fighting toxicity is a major priority for Gankster. To foster a healthy competitive environment for all, Gankster designed the GANKREP 1.0 reputation system. Player ratings are calculated using post-match peer reviews and data from both the app and the games themselves.
Gankster began development in mid 2021. Through its first year, the company has been steadily growing over 20% month-to-month with zero spend on marketing. Today, the platform hosts over 20,000 registered teams.
Gankster plans to use this seed funding to attract top talent, expand to additional games, fund competitions and support grassroots and online gaming communities. Further, Gankster plans to begin monetizing its product in Q1 of 2023.
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