Oxent, the French startup behind Gamersband, a geo-social network for gamers, has raised $500,000 in a Series A round led by French VC Petit Poucet. Oxtent is founded by Antoine Frankart and Matthieu Dallon, while Gamerband launched in late September and to-date claims 4,000 beta testers.
Gambersband is an interesting proposition in that it’s targeting video gamers with a social network that is ultimately aimed at face-to-face gaming, shunning the trend of networking and competing virtually. Dubbed a geo-social network, the site enables gamers to connect with other gamers living nearby in the belief that gaming is best when it’s not just social but local.
On Gamersband, players can create “challenging zones” and tournaments tied to places on maps such as buildings, streets, schools, workplaces or cities, and compete in local rankings. So, for example, you might use the site to discover and challenge a FIFA player that lives two floors above you or to find other people to organise a Guitar Hero party with. You get the idea.
In terms of monetization, Gamersband is targeting video games publishers and stores who want to reach out to gaming communities and organise local events and marketing campaigns.
Oxtent’s founders have form in the video gaming community space too. Frankart, 24, is also the creator of the Internet community eGame-star.com, as well as being the Award winner 2009 of the leading national French entrepreneurship contest, Le Petit Poucet, and Award winner 2010 of the Entrepreneurship contest of the French Ministry of Economy.
Meanwhile, Dallon, 36, founded the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC), the Gaming Show of Paris, the Fnac Trophy of video games, and Cyberleagues gamer rankings. He’s also the former producer of the Lan-Arena (from 2000 to 2002) and the former president and CEO of Ligarena and Games-Services.