When Medal.tv first launched on the scene, the company was an upstart trying to be the social network for the gaming generation.
Since its debut in February, the clipping and messaging service for gamers has amassed 5 million total users with hundreds of thousands of daily active users. And now it has a $9 million new investment from firms, led by Horizons Ventures, the venture capital fund established by Hong Kong multi-billionaire Li Ka-shing.
“We’re seeing sharing of short-form video emerge as a means of self-expression and entertainment for the current generation. We believe Medal’s platform will be a foundation for interactive social experiences beyond what you can find in a game,” says Jonathan Tam, an investor with Horizons Ventures .
Medal sees potential both in its social network and in the ability for game developers to use the platform as a marketing and discovery tool for the gaming audience.
“Friends are the main driver of game discovery, and game developers benefit from shareable games as a result. Medal.tv is trying to enable that without the complexity of streaming,” says Matteo Vallone, the former head of Google Play games in Europe and an angel investor in Medal.
It’s a platform that saw investors willing to fork over as much as $20 million for the company, according to chief executive Pim de Witte. “There are still too many risks involved to take capital like that,” de Witte says.
Instead, the $9 million from Horizons, and previous investors like Makers Fund, will be used to steadily grow the business.
“At Medal, we believe the next big social platform will emerge in gaming, perhaps built on top of short-form content, partially as a result of gaming publishers trying to build their own isolated gaming stores and systems,” said de Witte, in a statement. “That drives social fragmentation in the market and brings out the need for platforms such as Medal and Discord, which unite gamers across games and platforms in a meaningful way.”
As digital gaming becomes the social medium of choice for a generation, new tools that allow consumers to share their virtual experiences will become increasingly common. This phenomenon will only accelerate as more events like the Marshmello concert in Fortnite become the norm.
“Medal has the exciting potential to enable a seamless social exchange of virtual experiences,” says Ryann Lai, an investor from Makers Fund.