Alibaba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic invest €10.15M in Swedish esports platform Challengermode



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The gaming industry is richer than the movies and music industry combined and it is only growing bigger every year. With lockdown in various countries around the globe due to COVID-19, the number of gamers has further increased. While most people play casually to relieve stress and unwind, e-sports or competitive gaming introduces an extremely lucrative arena to show off your skills and earn big bucks. Swedish esports platform Challengermode aims to make esports more accessible to everyone and its backers agree. 

Fresh funding to enable product development and international expansion

Challengermode raised a notable €10.15 million in its latest funding round, which was led by eWTP Innovation Fund, the global investment arm of the Alibaba Group. Other investors such as the notable Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Telia Ventures also participated in the funding round. The latest investment will enable the company to enable better reach, engagement, and monetisation of target audiences for a growing number of brands, content creators, game developers, and professional tournament organisers. The funds will also be utilised for expanding Challengermode’s business to North America, and further product development.

“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,” says Robel Efrem. 

Making esports accessible for everyone

Founded back in 2014 by Robel Efrem and Philip Skogsberg, Challengermode has raised a total of €19.25M till now, including the latest funding. The company’s mission is to make esports more accessible for everyone and enabling gamers to compete across any device or console. The startup says it’s 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. 

“Our promise to the esports industry is that we will – regardless of personal ability or experience – provide a platform that enables anyone to participate in esports. That means going beyond just making tournaments easy to host to providing the platform that enables fun and inclusive communities to thrive and new esports businesses to emerge,” says Robel Efrem, co-founder and CEO of Challengermode. 

Main image credits: Challengermode

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Shubham Sharma

Grew up reading tech magazines and comic books. I binge on books, manga, movies, anime, and everything in between. Nothing makes my day like an innovative idea and a good tech story. You can reach him via [email protected]

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