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When we last checked in with the Los Angeles company in 2019, gamers were making millions of short videos a month. Now creators are “clipping” more than two million gaming moments a day, and the company is evolving it into a community platform for gamers.
The idea behind Medal is to help gamers share meaningful moments while physically apart. Medal now includes new ways for users to clip together while they play together. Once a solitary act, gamers can now record gameplay clips in real-time with other gamers, see and edit each other’s clips as they happen, and share that content across social media platforms and profiles.
“Medal is the best way to create memories when you’re apart, and that is something that games do unusually well compared to any other social media,” said Pim de Witte, Medal.tv CEO, in an interview with GamesBeat. “I play Rocket League with my nephews in the Netherlands almost every week. We focus on facilitating those relationships and using games as a mechanism to let people create memories.”
The funding came in two parts. Medal.tv recently closed a $45 million round led by Omers Ventures. And that came after a previously unannounced $15 million round from Makers Fund, Horizon Ventures, Dune Ventures, and others.
“We are an order of magnitude larger than any of the other players in our direct market,” de Witte said. “And so we decided that we wanted to raise a lot more capital so that we graduate from our direct market to the larger social gaming market and social in general.”
Medal.tv has used these funds to strategically acquire the technology, talent, and resources to change how players share and experience gaming moments together.
“Kids don’t hang out at the mall as much anymore. They hang out in Minecraft servers and play Roblox together,” said de Witte. “The next wave of social networks is built around shared experiences – where you enjoy meaningful things with other people and create memories together while physically apart. We’re building the platform to enable that.”
Along with funding raised, Medal has grown its user base to nearly a million daily active users
across PC, mobile, and console.
“Games are a massive social network, but we think that memories specifically have the opportunity to become that glue that connects people across different games,” de Witte said.
The Medal community, which includes more than 1% of all content creators on YouTube, Twitch, and more, creates more than 2 million clips per day. The company recently acquired livestreaming platform Rawa.tv (which powers Medal’s new sessions feature allowing users to play, record, and edit together) and gameplay clip and editing tools GifYourGame and Fuze.tv in order to expand the platform’s editing and cloud rendering capabilities.
“We use the Rawa.tv technology to power all of it,” he said. “They built this really capital-efficient infrastructure for livestreaming, which we were able to then plug into our user base. That has paid dividends for us.”
While other companies are focusing on using machine learning to capture game videos, de Witte said the company moved away from that. But it uses AI to capture possible moments in the background so you can go back and find the moments.
Once someone starts capturing clips, they do it on an average of about 10 times a week.
“I think very soon we will get to where the barrier to entry on capturing moments in digital worlds is lower than capturing moments in the real world,” he said. “You don’t have to consciously turn on a recorder. You just hit the button and then you can rewind life.”
Also, as part of the third round, Medal’s chief operating officer Aurora Klæboe Berg has joined the board of directors.
This growth, both directly and through these acquisitions, enabled the company to create Medal 3.0, a super-powered new version of Medal with a greatly expanded focus on connecting gamers to their friends, their peers, and their gaming communities. Moving forward, these funds will be used for further strategic acquisitions, expanding R&D, and attracting key talent as Medal transforms into a vertically integrated social network in the gaming industry.
Medal believes that, as much of our social interaction has moved online, video games have become a major vehicle for daily online interaction. Recording and sharing gaming moments is a vital part of how gamers communicate with friends and broader gaming communities. These clips serve users as a way to stay in touch with friends, show off their best moves on social media, and promote their own YouTube and Twitch channels.
“We think that honing in on the memory segment and really focusing the product on that is going to get us to tens of millions of views,” de Witte said.
With the introduction of Medal 3.0, Medal is now a place to not only capture gaming moments but to do so within a vibrant gamer community. A new sessions feature lets gamers play together live, talk, chat, and clip moments from every perspective in real time.
With a full suite of new editing effects, users can express themselves through the moments they experience in new ways. Medal will use the funds raised to aggressively grow even further.
The company has about 80 employees, and it has raised $70 million to date.
“It’s a good time opportunistically to raise money,” de Witte said. “It’s a great time where people are interested in the space and are making big bets.”
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