Mentioned in this article
- BITKRAFT Esports Ventures led a $5M USD Series A funding round in casual mobile games esports tournament platform operator, Ready.
- Ready generates revenues with in-app microtransactions and subscriptions. The Ready Games app is experiencing a 30% month over month subscriber growth.
- According to Newzoo, mobile gaming revenues in North America are estimated to reach approximately $18B in 2019.
Today, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures’ seventh investment of the year was announced. The early and mid-stage investor focused on the esports sector led a $5M Series A funding round in Ready, the maker of casual mobile games esports tournament platform, The Ready Games. Other investors in the round included Comcast Ventures and Eldridge Industries.
The Ready Games releases three new games every week for players to compete in that are created using its proprietary Ready Maker “no-code” development platform. Players have unlimited practice runs to hone their skills, but only one official run to compete for the prize and move to the top of the leaderboard. The prize money is split among the top 20% of high-scoring players. While The Ready Games app is available for free (in the United States and Canada), Ready generates revenues by selling a $4.99 monthly subscription for additional attempts at the prize and exclusive features as well as offering in-app microtransactions to purchase additional attempts at the prize. Currently the app is experiencing a 30% month over month subscriber growth, according to the company.
“Hyper-casual games are one of the most downloaded games in the app store, giving it a strong position in the market. Mobile gaming worldwide is around $70B in revenues, of which 25% is in North America, or about $18B per year. Hyper casual esports should be viewed and classified as a subset of this market,” explained Ready when asked about the market size for hyper-casual mobile esports. “It’s still too early to determine the final number but it may become many multiples larger than the traditional console-based esports market of $1B because these revenues are in-app purchases and subscriptions direct from consumers and not sponsorships or ads.” Ready defines esports as any skill-based video game competition for cash prizes.
The most recent addition to BITKRAFT’s esports portfolio caters to a more casual audience, of which almost half are women, compared to previous investments. Questioned about the purpose of this investment by The Esports Observer, BITKRAFT stated that “the primary goal is to tap into the mainstream gaming audience, which does include a natural focus on the casual female gamer. It also fits with our interest in mobile esports and in disruptive “no code” game creation technologies.”
Previous investments BITKRAFT participated in during 2019 include in-game advertising platform Anzu.io’s $6.5M Series A funding earlier this month, esports mobile app Strafe’s $3M Seed round in July, app development platform GoMeta’s $6M funding round in April, Japanese tournament organizer PlayBrain’s $1.9M Seed round in February, and sports betting startup Action Network’s $17.5M Series B funding.