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The funding came after the Columbus, Ohio-based company signed up more than 500,000 new users to its platform in the past year. Efuse will use the capital to fuel product development and user acquisition and make key hires as it progresses toward profitability in 2021.
“Gamers network, connect, and share differently,” Efuse founder and CEO Matthew Benson told GamesBeat in an email. “They need a place to showcase a highlight reel, connect their credentials to validate ‘rank,’ and chat with their unique meme-heavy shorthand. Also, Efuse is purpose-built to help gamers get discovered so they’re only presented with gaming-specific opportunities, like studio internships or job postings, college scouting events, and pro-team tryouts. You just can’t find that on Reddit or LinkedIn.”
While traditional professionals are comfortable with the formalities of LinkedIn, Benson said gamers communicate differently. They need to showcase themselves in a purpose-driven platform, whether they’re looking to go pro with esports contracts and celebrity-style “partner” streaming agreements or just looking for their next gig.
Efuse users build a profile, share their passions, broadcast their highlight reel, and engage with over 24,000 scholarships, internships, and job postings in design, game development, business and marketing, and other roles.
Notable investors include NBA player Seth Curry (Philadelphia 76ers) and NFL players Denzel Ward (Cleveland Browns), Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys), and Chase Winovich (New England Patriots). Today’s round follows the startup’s initial $2.3 million funding in November 2019, which the Ohio Innovation Fund also led.
Benson said “gamers seeking a lucrative contract can count on Efuse to help them get discovered — but gaming is much bigger than just going pro. Studios need game designers, developers need 3D modelers, distributors need business executives. Efuse is the place for players to bond over their passion for gaming and get discovered because of it.”
Benson also said Efuse doesn’t have any dedicated gaming rivals. He added that Efuse has built a two-sided marketplace that allows esports organizations, coaches, and studios to actively find the talent they’re looking for instead of just hoping they show up.
“The gaming industry is a noisy mess,” he said. “How does a gamer from Small Town USA pique the attention of a big-time scout? Or, in reverse, how does a commuter college find its next leader for [its] casual club team? It just doesn’t happen, and that means fortunes are left unrealized, friendships are never forged, and memories are never made. That’s not OK — we’re here to fix the talent discovery and diversity problem in gaming.”
The company was founded in 2018 and has 22 employees.
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