Big moves in L.A.'s gaming industry Thursday, as mobile gaming platform Artie closes its seed round of funding and gaming/ lifestyle organization FaZe Clan lands a new CFO. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more updates.
- Artie Closes Seed Round at $10 Million
- FaZe Clan Brings on a New CFO
Artie Closes Seed Round at $10 Million<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vbWVkaWEucmJsLm1zL2ltYWdlP3U9JTJGY29udGVudCUyRjVlZDE1ZDQyODVjNzE3NGJiNDU4NmQ4MyUyRjE1OTI0MjAwMTQxOTQtNktLT1BRMjRSWExVNUoxM002S0klMkZhcnRpZWxvZ29fYmxhY2sucG5nJTNGZm9ybWF0JTNEMTUwMHclMjZjb250ZW50LXR5cGUlM0RpbWFnZSUyRnBuZyZobz1odHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRmltYWdlcy5zcXVhcmVzcGFjZS1jZG4uY29tJnM9MzE4Jmg9MDUzZTlhZWRkNWM2NDhjMzA4OGE4OTUzNGNkMWZhZmQzNmY1OTBkYzZjZGRlY2ViYmQ5MjFjMmZiMWY4MTZhZCZzaXplPTk4MHgmYz0zNTUzMTAyMzAwIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NTE5ODQxOH0.9rhWJ2lsZW1ROB7H5ywiclYOxACKXELeuiocn4oitnQ/img.jpg" id="7994e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ee4179c6afc05780213b3b8c58c72868" alt="Artie" /><p><a href="https://www.artie.com" target="_blank">Artie</a>, the L.A.-based startup aiming to change how mobile games are accessed and distributed, has completed <a href="https://dot.la/artie-2647773915.html" target="_self">the seed round that it reopened in September</a>, closing at $10 million. Investors include mobile-games giant Zynga founder Mark Pincus, NBA star Kevin Durant, Scooter Braun's Raised In Space investment firm and the Winklevoss twins.</p><p>Mobile games are the biggest segment of a growing gaming market, and Artie's tech aims to change how players and creators connect through those games. The goal is to reduce friction by allowing gamers to open games directly from online platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook rather than force them to log in through the Apple or Google app stores. Circumventing the app stores also means game creators and developers would not have to pay the 30% fees those platforms charge.</p><p>Artie plans to release its first round of games later this year, and eventually to allow other developers to use its technology as a distribution platform. Its self-published games will be free to play; Artie will make money through in-game purchases. Once it opens to other developers via a software development kit, it will charge a fee, which chief executive Ryan Horrigan said will likely be 12%.</p>
Amit Baraj Takes Over as FaZe Clan CFO<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTY2MjMyNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MzU5NjgzNH0.r-bMQdsKcmyBMeDedE-9NhQRpC41BGbrBouFDxzpelk/image.jpg?width=2000&coordinates=0%2C139%2C0%2C1619&height=1500" id="ad393" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3be7eff120cab45bee19bd9ddf5c957a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Amit Baraj, FaZe Clan CFO" data-width="2000" data-height="1500" />
Amit Baraj is FaZe Clan's new chief financial officer.<p><a href="https://dot.la/faze-clan-2646120733.html" target="_self">FaZe Clan, the L.A.-based gaming brand that spans esports, content and lifestyle apparel</a>, announced Thursday that it has a new chief financial officer.</p><p>Amit Baraj, most recently chief executive officer at 3-on-3 basketball league BIG3, will be responsible for overseeing FaZe Clan's finance, strategy and corporate development. Baraj was formerly an investment banker at Centerview Partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bear, Stearns & Co.</p><p>"FaZe Clan has evolved from an esports organization to a true global media and lifestyle brand with tremendous potential. I'm looking forward to partnering with (CEO) Lee (Trink) and the team to execute on the vision and grow the business," Baraj said in a statement.</p><p>FaZe Clan was valued around $250 million as of its $40 million Series A round last April, led by music mogul Jimmy Iovine, Trink previously told dot.LA. </p>
- Artie Reopens its Round and Goes After Gaming's Big Problem - dot ... ›
- FaZe Clan Looks to Dominate Global Entertainment - dot.LA ›
VENN launched in August with the goal of becoming the "MTV of the Gaming Generation" but it turns out the gaming generation doesn't appear to want MTV. They want short-form content.
On Thursday, VENN announced a significant shakeup, shifting their content strategy from about 85% long-form shows to 85% short-form, which is cheaper to produce and offers near instant feedback, co-CEO Ariel Horn told dot.LA.
- VENN Gaming Network Raises $26M and New Distribution ›
- VENN Launches 24/7 Gaming Coverage - dot.LA ›
For sports fans, the playoffs are an exciting time. But the end of the regular season can be bittersweet as it marks the end of the typical fantasy sports season.
That loss was Carter Russ' inspiration for Champions Round, a new take on fantasy sports that on Monday announced a $1 million seed round led by San Francisco-based Quest Venture Partners.
The two-year-old, L.A.-based startup launched its first full app last month. Its fantasy leagues aren't tied to leagues' entire seasons; instead, they're chunked, usually into periods of three to four weeks, and sometimes around just a single, multi-day event like the NFL draft.