Stockholm-based Goals announced a $20M Series A round to fund further development of a new soccer game. The title is designed to reach both casual fans and aspiring esports pros.

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six led the round while Northzone, Moonfire and Cassius participated. Additionally, several individuals also invested this round:

  • Peter Sellis, SVP of Product for Discord
  • Wayne Mackey, founder and CEO or Statespace / Aimlabs
  • Riqui Puig, LA Galaxy midfielder
  • Clement Langlet, center-back for Tottenham Hotspur

Goals was founded in 2021 by Andreas Thorstensson, a former Counter-Strike World Champion and the founder of esports team SK Gaming. This competitive mindset inspired Thorstensson to take matters into his own hands and shake up the soccer game landscape. Rather than focusing on hyperrealism, Goals wants to focus on fun, fast and fluid gameplay.

“Goals was born out of our passion for football, our passion for video games and our opinion that football video games have grown stale,” said Thorstensson. “There are over 3.5 billion football fans in the world, and our team is united in the belief that a football game done right should be the world’s biggest video game. We’re focused on making sure we have a game that meets the needs of every fan, whether they’re looking for casual or highly competitive play, what hardware they play on, no matter where they live.” 

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“What drew us to Goals was the team’s vigorous ambition and the intention behind its plan to reach it,” said Alexis Ohanian, founder of Seven Seven Six. “The studio is on a mission to bring a fun football game to the masses and to eliminate any barriers or inequities that may exist for players, no matter where they live or what hardware they’re running … . There’s a ton of potential in the team’s approach to design and technology that can extend well beyond this first game and football entirely.”

Esports Ready

The title offer will standard 11v11 matches, but the team is also looking to shake up the genre formula. The title will add a 5v5 mode — Goals: Go — where players control all in-game characters. The team designed Goals: Go to emphasize teamwork and therefore make the title esports ready at launch. The title will be available on consoles and PC with crossplay between platforms.

Series A funding will accelerate hiring and production. Currently, Goals has 50 team members with industry veterans from AAA studios like Activision, Ubisoft and EA — including former FIFA developers — on board. The team plans to expand to 75 over the next few years.

Goals continues the trend of esports teams (and creators) branching into game development. In esports, Tempo Storm and founder Reynad began developing its CCG The Bazaar in 2018. Last year, 100 Thieves announced Project X. Meanwhile, Brazil’s INTZ launched and shuttered Apollo Games Lab — its in-house development studio.

With this series A, Goals has received $39 million in total funding. Previous backers include Cherry Ventures, Banana Capital and Not Boring Capital. Additionally, Nicolas Julia, founder of Sorare, Matthew Ball, Magdalena Kala and former Barcelona defender and founder and CEO of KOSMOS, Gerard Pique invested in Goals. 

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