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LF.Group has raised a $1 million round to help gamers worldwide find teammates for multiplayer games.
San Francisco-based Grishin Robotics provided the funding to enable London-based LF.Group to hire software engineers and community managers.
LF.Group operates an all-in-one free software-as-a-service platform for gaming communities. With this platform, every guild will be able to set up a guild page and use it to look for new players, said CEO Alexey Moiseenkov in an interview with GamesBeat.
The company is targeting the 300 million gamer around the world who spend about 20 hours a week playing games. It will help them recruit teammates and join forces on their way towards better results in online games.
LF.Group offers a complete software toolkit that gives gaming communities the power to host events and organize activities in an easy and secure way. The company first launched its service via a Discord bot, allowing World of Warcraft and Lost of Ark players to create groups and list the characters they want to feature in a new teams.
LF.Group grew organically to serve in-game communities and gamers of different skill levels. Today it is a standalone and scalable product with 50,000 gamer profiles and over 200 teams on the waitlist to start recruiting newcomers, the company said.
Serial entrepreneur Moiseenkov is one of the cofounders. He previously launched Prisma Labs (111 million installs and the No. 1 AppStore app in 2016) and Capture Technologies (the first community-oriented messenger).
“We are on a really interesting mission. I’m a hardcore gamer with a thousand hours played in World of Warcraft and League of Legends,” said Moiseenkov. “When you spend 20 hours a week in a game, your relationship with gaming is more like your career.”
For players who want to get better results, metrics, and play experiences, the team decided to do something to keep players more engaged.
“We wanted to build the ultimate hub for a gaming community that will help them engage with the users and gamers around the world,” he said. “We started with the most team-oriented hardcore games like World of Warcraft and League of Legends.”
The LF.Group community for World of Warcraft has surpassed 10,000 daily active users so far. It started as a board for Discord communities, and then it went viral.
Moiseenkov said he knew the Grishin Robotics team from before, as he had relationships with them from earlier startups.
Other cofounders include Dmitriy Beseda and Alexander Karetin (cofounders of Overgear, one of the largest worldwide platforms for gamers to sell and buy gaming services, with 111,500 paying customers); and Stas Kapinus (founder of eStreams, an analytics platform for in-game broadcasting and in-game streams).
“Online games helped me become a stronger leader and drastically improved my decision-making. In high school, I was already among the top 200 World of Warcraft players in the post-Soviet space, and to date I have almost 9600 hours spent playing,” said Alexey Moiseenkov. “We know firsthand how difficult it is to team up with like-minded people who can help you reach new levels of success within your favorite game.”
As avid players themselves, these entrepreneurs saw gaming as a business opportunity.
“As a person with more than 20 years of gaming experience — I even met my wife in a game,” said Beseda. “I’ve always missed the proper tool to gather with the new teammates I want to play with. Most of the solutions we compete with today, are the in-game search bars or looking-for-group threads on forums. They are either built for instant gaming or lack the wide range of parameters for selecting new players for your team.”
Today, the platform is home to potential teammates in World of Warcraft, Lost Ark, League of Legends, and League of Legends: Wild Rift. The list of featured games will expand in the next few months.
LF.Group is growing organically to serve both guilds that are searching for new players and solo players who want to improve their skills by playing with motivated team members. You can find out how many people are reading your profile, or how many people like your guild or the content connected with you.
“We let the community accomplish different tasks like recruiting members of the community and getting traffic for the community.”
While Discord focuses on communication, LF.Group — whose name is short for “looking for group” — focuses on engagement, like getting people to come back for new contests. The company started just a few months ago, as it found a complement to Discord.
“We’re focused on how to make users happy, how to help people around the world,” Moiseenkov said. “While Discord is for communication, we are more like Shopify for your team, like a landing page with all the capabilities that you want. We organize the information in a different way.”
IF.Group has player details like your game achievements and your personal details that you would share with other gamers, and information people might use in hiring you. You can post information about donations.
This round of funding from Grishin Robotics will be used to build new features on the platform, helping communities post detailed vacancies, conduct in-game events, and manage all their activities in one space.
The company doesn’t plan to use the money for growing its users because it already has viral growth through word of mouth, he said.
“What I’m really confident about is that you can’t play alone, and we want to be the place where you can find groups of people to join and play with,” Moiseenkov said. “We don’t know what will be popular. We want to help people be at the right place to play with the right people. We want to expand into different opportunities like contest organization and more.”
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