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Lowkey has raised $7 million in funding for its platform to capture your gameplay moments. It has created video editing tools that let gamers post short snippets on social media.
Casual friend groups to the top esports teams in the nation use Lowkey to record, edit, share and watch moments from their PC gameplay. That’s not a bad accomplishment for a team of just eight people. And that’s why it has backing from Andreessen Horowitz, the prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm and other angel investors.
Gaming content continues to be a huge hit on YouTube and Twitch, in long-form and livestream formats, and Lowkey is innovating on the short-form format (popularized by TikTok) for gaming. The firm is launching a new mobile app today.
CEO Jesse Zhang said in an interview with GamesBeat that anyone can use Lowkey to create, edit, and share short videos of their gaming moments. Lowkey makes it effortless to record gameplay on our desktop app, edit them on a mobile app, and share it out to friends or the world. The mission is to build the home for watching and creating short gaming videos (like on TikTok), a format that isn’t captured so easily when using Twitch or YouTube.
“Gaming has always been like a huge passion,” he said. “The simple purpose of Lowkey is to share moments from games in the same way that you can share moments from your life. When something cool happens in real life, you just whip out your phone, and it makes it so easy to capture it.”
Lowkey lets players share their gameplay in the casual, social format popularized by apps like TikTok and Snapchat. It just launched a new mobile app that allows players to use simple creative tools to inject their personality and transform the raw clips into entertaining short videos.
“The mobile app makes it so that you can edit videos like super easily, like you don’t have to use Adobe Premiere or learn a bunch of video editing instructions,” Zhang said. “You take your gaming videos and change the resolution or cut out things, add a voiceover with your reactions, and things like that.”
Other investors include Dylan Field (Figma), Joe Thomas (Loom), Zach Perret & William Hockey (Plaid). Jonathan Lai, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said in a statement that as people spend more time in virtual worlds, sharing best gameplay moments with friends and family will become a key part of everyone’s social life.
The desktop app enables you to automatically capture your games, without lag, so that whenever something awesome or funny happens, you can get a video clip out of it. To create clips, you can either press a hotkey while playing or record your entire session and cut it out afterward. Once a clip is created, it’s automatically uploaded to Lowkey, so you can watch it in your browser or in the mobile app, and instantly share it with friends.
You don’t upload long videos to Lowkey. You record all of your gameplay, and then you use Lowkey to go back and find the key moments. You cut out maybe 30 seconds of footage, and this gets automatically uploaded to Lowkey. And in that sense, Lowkey isn’t burdened with storing tons of video that won’t be used.
Zhang grew up in Boulder, Colorado ,as the son of immigrant parents. He first taught himself programming by building simple games on his TI-89 calculator. While growing up, he deepened his passion for games (he’s Master Tier in TFT!) and math through various competitions and working at quantitative trading firms and tech startups. He went on to graduate from Harvard at 20, and then built much of the initial version of Lowkey out of a desire to help gamers connect over cool moments via video, rather than the traditional text or voice chats. Now he is 23. The tools started taking off when professional League of Legends players started using it.
And now Lowkey has more than a million users.
“Over time, we think more of the users will be on mobile,” Zhang said.
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