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ReadyUp, which helps game companies organize fan communities, is going into the Asian market and it has raised a round from Cyberathlete Professional.
The company didn’t disclose the exact amount raised. San Francisco-based ReadyUp has created a software-as-a-service platform that game publishers, content creators, and event organizers can use to organically drive fan communities to discover, engage and transact with events they love.
Alemania said ReadyUp helps communities find the events they love by organically embedding and presenting events as content–not paid marketing or advertising. And the company helps its customers drive business objectives by enabling fans to add events to their calendars, share and engage the event through actions like watch, register or buy.
ReadyUp will automatically insert a calendar reminder for an event if a fan notes that they want to attend it. That works extremely well at getting the fan to come back without having to spend money on an ad reminding the fan about the event.
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“What we’re doing is helping our customers drive organic discovery and engagement of their events,” Alemania said. “Our software-as-a-service drives communities to engage in and transact with events a lot.”
The company’s customers have figured out that if they do a good job organizing, those fans become the game company’s biggest word-of-mouth advertisers.
“When you’re a fan, you don’t view the creators as trying to sell you something. You see this as content,” Alemania said. “We have taken that concept, and instead of presenting these events as marketing or advertising, which turns off these people, we bring it to them as content. We take these events and organically embedding them into communities like Twitch, like Discord, like someone’s website. This is why Cyberathlete invested in us.”
Engagement over advertising
And that means the company doesn’t have to spend as much on user acquisition and other advertising, said CEO Roderick Alemania in an interview with GamesBeat.
“Our customers could be video game publishers, content creators, streamers, influencers, esports teams, or a TV show,” Alemania said. “If these event organizers don’t have people show up, they don’t have a business. It’s pretty simple. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re helping them solve that problem.”
With Twitch, ReadyUp can add a Twitch extension that has a call to action, such as adding an upcoming event to your calendar. It shows up on the calendar on your phone or desktop immediately.
“They’re shareable so people can share it with friends,” Alemania said. “You put the call to action options like register for the event or buy a ticket. This is all programmed by you. You can change it around and it is dynamic.”
The cash is coming from Singapore-based Cyberathlete, the ower of the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), a 25-year-old esports brand.
ReadyUp’s service is embedded into communities including Twitch, Discord, and social media platforms. As an example, ReadyUp’s Twitch Extension acts as a modular, interactive content listing in a Twitch channel enabling audiences to discover, add to a calendar, and engage with events. Using a simple design, ReadyUp takes just minutes to deploy across any community, Alemania said.
Cyberathlete started as an esports tournament organizer with Olympic ambitions. I remember going to its events in San Francisco where it hoped to ignite the same passion around esports as people had for traditional sports. Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendell, an esports hall of farmer and cofounder of ReadyUp, used to play in those tournaments. Now Cyberathlete has shifted its focus to content creation and ecommerce. And CEO Scott Valencia said Cyberathlete only succeeds if it can get gamers, students, and fans to engage with its events.
He said that the results show that ReadyUp delivers organic engagement on a large scale for its customers, and that’s why the company decided to invest. He said Cyberathlete will help ReadyUp expand into Asia.
Alemania said the company’s growth has been rapid.
“When you look at these Twitch communities, we’ve engaged with millions of users over the last 30 days,” Alemania said. “But more importantly, we’re driving these engagements and pretty high conversion rates. We’re seeing around an 8% average conversion rates of people.”
That means about 8% will click on something like a calendar item and engage with the event. One of the customers was NBC, which used ReadyUp to engage with fans on a Twitch channel for the Olympics.
“It was really, really successful,” he said. “We had them up and running literally in less than a day. They gave us all their assets, we got the events entered in, and then set it live. We originally saw the use case in esports in gaming, but we’re talking to all the major TV shows and sporting events.”
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