Esports fandom company PatronGG GmbH announced it has secured US$1 million in seed investment. The funding will be used to build out fan engagement platform Kokyo, through expanding to new games and enriching match data. The seed investment was led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm founded by former ESL (STO: MTG-B) founder and CEO Jens Hilgers.
French investment fund Trust Esport, co-founded by Matthieu Dallon and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière-owned holding company Fimalac also participated, alongside BITKRAFT.
Kokyo secures funding
“The team and I believe that loving esports shouldn’t feel like a chore. Today, content is spread across multiple mediums and hidden behind mysterious algorithms which makes it difficult to stay updated. With this funding, we’re one step closer to realizing our goal of simplifying fandom for teams and fans alike,” said Dean Burrows, CEO of PatronGG. “We will use the new capital to grow the team, secure team partnerships and enrich our data by providing more in-depth match statistics, event and player profiles, and broaden our game support with the addition of titles such as Dota 2, Rainbow Six: Siege and more.”
Kokyo is an upcoming platform for both esports organizations and fans to engage with each other. Through a streamlined timeline that intelligently aggregates the social channels, news, and video content of esports teams, fans can stay up to date with their favorites. In addition, there is an easy to follow match calendar which makes sure users never miss a game. Discussion boards also support the experience so fans can communicate with others before, during, and after every match.
Monetizing esports fans
“Kokyo is a must-have app where esports fans have an easy way to stay up-to-date and support their favorite team across multiple game titles and esports organizations have avenues to maximize fan engagement and create new opportunities for monetization,” commented Jens Hilgers, founder and managing partner of BITKRAFT. “We believe Kokyo will change the way fans follow and engage with their favorite esports teams and the larger esports community while providing esports organizations with ways to diversify revenue.”
Kokyo will also make it easier for esports organizations to connect with and monetize their fans. Traditional sports leagues like the MLB see revenue of an average $58.4 per fan, with the esports revenue per fan expected to reach $6.0 in 2020, according to a report by data analytics firm Newzoo. Through Kokyo, teams will be able to offer exclusive content and premium experiences for fans using different subscription plans. This way, teams can focus on content quality and maximizing engagement, compared to solely relying on sponsorships and advertising to monetize fans.