- Popdog is a new company focused on building partnerships within the video gaming, live streaming and esports industries.
- The company is led by CEO Alexander Garfield, the former owner of GoodGame, one of the most successful esports companies in the industry’s brief history.
- Popdog will consolidate top gaming influencer brand Loaded, the eSports division of Catalyst Sports & Media, and Twitch analytics platform NoScope.
- Popdog is launching with a $9 million Series A funding round led by Makers Fund, with participation by Korea Investment Partners.
Three premiere esports entities have combined to form Popdog, a new company focused to build custom technology that suit the complex needs of the esports and live streaming industries.
The company is led by founder and CEO Alexander Garfield – best known for building two esports teams, Evil Geniuses and Alliance, into global powerhouses. Both teams were subsidiaries of Garfield’s Good Game Agency, and helped him earn more prize money than any other individual owner in esports history. Garfield is making his return to esports after selling Good Game Agency to Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, in 2014.
In a letter on Popdog’s website shared this week Garfield shared his reasoning for departing Twitch and founding Popdog. After working with Twitch for 18 months, Garfield says that he found himself unable to tackle the biggest issues that plagued the video game streaming space.
- Samantha Lupo Photography
“So much about esports and live streaming has changed in the past four years, but so much still remains the same,” Garfield said. “We’re finally getting the attention we deserve, with record-breaking viewership numbers, countless societal figures participating and making investments, and more money flowing through the space than ever. And yet, despite this growth, our core problems persist. Industry businesses haven’t found themselves yet, and still struggle to find focus in a world where the ground is shifting beneath their feet.”
Popdog is launching with a $9 million Series A funding round led by Makers Fund, with participation by Korea Investment Partners.
“Makers Fund believes gaming influencers will usher a new era of growth and engagement in live, interactive entertainment,” Jay Chi, Founding Partner of Makers Fund, said in a statement. “Popdog is well positioned to pioneer new methods of engaging users and creating value for influencers and ecosystem stakeholders across the globe.”
This is the first institutional round of funding for Popdog. The funds will be used to support a number of key areas for Popdog, including new hires in technology, services, and product development, helping the company continue to innovate and expand its team and technology offerings for the gaming and entertainment industries.
Who is Popdog?
Ultimately, Popdog is a consultancy to help esports teams, companies, and influencers adopt new technology and make more money
The company features three key components at the outset: Loaded – a sales, creative and merchandising services brand representing popular players like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Guy “Dr. DisRespect” Beahm, and NoScope – an enterprise Twitch discovery and analytics solution team, are both now part of the Popdog ecosystem. Additionally, the esports division of advisory firm Catalyst Sports & Media is now also a part of Popdog.
The company co-founders and leadership team include several more esports industry experts and influencers.
Among them: Andreas Thorstensson, Popdog’s CTO and CPO, is a former Counter-Strike world champion who cofounded SK Gaming and SoGamed, a massively successful esports organization and social platform. Niles Heron, Popdog’s CSO, is a serial entrepreneur and startup consultant who has taught and mentored at startup accelerators likeTechStars, Gener8tor and Detroit’s TechTown. Colin DeShong, Popdog’s CCO and Garfield’s long-time business partner, is the former COO of GoodGame, Evil Geniuses, and Alliance.
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“We’re building our company around the core belief that esports and gaming video content, born more from technology than any other sports or entertainment verticals we’ve seen, need better technology in order to be properly understood, monetized, and optimized,” Garfield said in a statement.
“The industry needs a backend, and our mission is to be that backend by supporting the ecosystem as a whole with a comprehensive offering of technology and services.”