The e-sports phenomenon – which sees competitive video gamers battling it out while millions of viewers around the world watch over the internet – is certainly nothing new. But as the industry grows, a growing number of companies are looking to cash in on the trend.
The latest is Raptr, an online gaming platform which has released a sort-of Instagram for video games, called Plays.tv. This week it confirmed that it had raised $14 million in a funding round, led by Accel Partners.
The service allows users to record, edit and upload short snippets of their gameplay to the site and share it across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social networks.
It comes after popular e-sports viewing platform Twitch was acquired by Amazon for $970 million last year. Twitch lets people to watch live games and said that last year, its average user watched over 100 minutes of its video content each day.
While Twitch is known for streaming some of the biggest e-sports games with the most popular stars, Raptr is aimed at amateur gamers and is dedicated to "celebrating the pro in every gamer", which is where it hopes to differentiate.
With global e-sports revenues set to hit $465 million in 2017 from $194 million last year, according to games market research firm Newzoo, Raptr wants to gain a slice of the pie.
The Mountain View, CA-based company introduced gameplay recording nine months ago, and Plays.tv provides users with a platform to capture, edit and share their videos in one place. It is focused solely on PC games.
"To me, chatting with my friends about all the funny and amazing things that happened in the game we just played is often as much fun as playing the game itself," said Dennis Fong, founder and CEO of Raptr, in a statement.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), DAG Ventures, and Tenaya Capital are among the other investors in the latest funding round, which bought the total capital raised by Raptr to $41 million in since its inception in 2007.