SEATTLE, WA, GawkBox, a company that provides monetization for live streamers and other content creators, today announced a Series A financing of $3.7 million.
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Madrona Venture Group led the funding, which includes follow-on participation from London Venture Partners as well as funding from Erlend Christofferson (ex-CMO Supercell) and others. These investors are joining other strategic angel investors from an earlier round including Jon Zweig, the founding CEO of AdColony and AppOnboard.
In 2016, cash tipping from fans emerged as a quickly growing income source for live streamers on Twitch and YouTube. GawkBox opens up a new level of fan engagement and support by offering a new way to tip streamers called "sponsored tipping." Fans can tip streamers by downloading an app and reaching milestones, such as leveling up a character or completing an in-app challenge. After achieving these goals, app developers will tip streamers on the fans' behalf, allowing fans to show their loyalty for the streamer without paying a penny. GawkBox's "sponsored tipping" enables app developers to reach and engage with a receptive audience and enables streamers to develop a new meaningful source of income.
"Fans spend hours every day watching eSports and other live streams, but only a limited number will tip via a direct credit card purchase. GawkBox offers fans and streamers another option to support content creators," said Chris Brownridge, co-founder and CEO. "We have seen incredible interest from fans, streamers and app developers alike."
"Live streaming is a massive, rapidly growing market, but no one has solved the problem of how to monetize live content. The GawkBox team has created a unique solution that is a win-win-win for all parties - streamers earn more income, fans get to support their favorite streamers in new ways, and advertisers have a new way to drive engagement in their apps," said Daniel Li, senior associate, Madrona Venture Group. "The team understands this market deeply and has built an experience that is clearly resonating with their users - we are excited to back this team and work with them to grow this market." As part of the financing, Li will join the board of GawkBox.
How It Works
Streamers can sign up at GawkBox.com and display a GawkBox overlay on their Twitch and/or YouTube stream. GawkBox works across platforms, so streamers have one solution for all of their broadcasting platforms. Fans who want to make a sponsored tip click on a content creator's GawkBox profile and then download apps or games of their choice. As they play the games or interact with the apps, various milestones correspond to tips that go to the streamer. App developers can use GawkBox to reach a highly desirable and hard-to-reach audience with an entirely unique and measurable approach.
"Before GawkBox, monetization options were very limited for content creators. In just a few weeks, we can double the income of many of our streamers," said Andrew Allison, CRO and co-founder. "App developers who want to drive more than just downloads are seeing high engagement levels, while also being able to access a highly engaged user base on a performance advertising basis."
The company's co-founders, CEO Chris Brownridge, CRO Andrew Allison and CTO Tony Chong, are experienced mobile advertising executives and were a part of the early team at Vungle, a successful mobile advertising company known for pioneering mobile video ads.
GawkBox is a unique monetization platform built for the live streaming market. The company is based in Seattle. www.gawkbox.com