Esports veterans join forces for tech and services company Popdog

Popdog, a new technology and services company from a number of veterans in the esports industry, has been announced. The company will develop products to optimise esports and gaming livestreaming for “brands, publishers, talent, teams, tournaments, and other stakeholders.”

Popdog is launching with $9 million (£7.1 million) investment following a Series A funding round which was led by Makers Fund.

Popdog

The company is made up of three other companies. Loaded is a company that deals in sponsorship sales, creative, and merchandising services for influencers in the games industries; founder Bradon Freytag will continue to lead as it expands its services into the esports industry.

NoScope is a Twitch discovery and analytics solution, its founders – Justin Malara and Kyle DeWitt – will “evolve the product’s data and reporting toolset” as it begins to cater to esports.

The esports division of Catalyst Sports & Media was created to advise businesses looking to successfully enter the esports industry, and is also now a part of Popdog. Josh Swartz, Co-founder of Catalyst Sports & Media will act as COO of Popdog.

Alexander Garfield, Founder and CEO of Popdog discussed the venture in a statement: “We’re building our company around the core belief that esports and gaming video content, born more from technology than any other sports or entertainment verticals we’ve seen, need better technology in order to be properly understood, monetized, and optimized. The industry needs a backend, and our mission is to be that backend by supporting the ecosystem as a whole with a comprehensive offering of technology and services.

“This funding brings us one step closer to fulfilling that mission. We’ve already assembled an incredible team of industry leaders, product experts, and esports veterans, and we’re excited to begin rolling out a suite of products that we think will make operating in the space transparent and scalable, as opposed to opaque and speculative.”

Alexander Garfield is known for his work with Evil Geniuses and Alliance, and then going on to sell parent company GoodGame to Twitch in 2014. Andreas Thorstensson, CTO and CPO of Popdog is a former Counter-Strike world championship and a co-founder of esports organisation SK Gaming. Niles Heron, CSO of Popdog is an entrepreneur that has taught and mentored at a number of startups. Colin DeShong, CCO of Popdog is the former COO of Evil Geniuses and Alliance.

Esports Insider says: This is an intriguing venture that will almost-instantly receive credibility from the community because of the people involved in the company. The solid Series A funding round will likely help to get Popdog off the ground, and when that happens we can truly judge just how the company will help with content creation in the industry.

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