I will admit that I am not much of a gamer, but it has become hard to ignore the emergence of eSports in recent years. ChallengerMode, a startup based of Stockholm, hopes to ride the popularity of online gaming with a platform that allows players to compete against one another for money.
The idea behind this service is that gamers can purchase tokens and then use them as an entry fee when challenging others. From there, they open a game outside of ChallengerMode and then, if they end up winning, the user will keep the loser’s entry fee, which they can then withdraw to their bank account. ChallengerMode states that they generate revenue by taking a 10% on each fee put forth by the loser of the challenge.
As it stands, League of Legends is the game featured through the service, but they intend to offer more soon. One of the nice aspects of the service is that it is multi-platform, allowing users to access it from their computer, smartphone, or tablet.
In addition to gamers, ChallengerMode is hoping to appeal to developers with a partner program that allows the developer to monetize their titles by retaining a percentage of each challenge completed. To this end, the startup is developing an SDK for developers.
Philip Skogsberg, one of the startup’s co-founders, tells me that the company entered private beta in June during Dreamhack Summer 2015. As such, they have declined to reveal how many people currently use the service, stating only that they have limited participation to a few thousand users.
In terms of funding, they have picked up external backing from a handful of private investors, including startup founders and corporate executives, who have given ChallengerMode between 500,000-800,000 Euro combined.