Swedish esports startup Challengermode has secured $12 million from the investment arm of Alibaba, eWTP Innovation Fund. Other investors include Telia Ventures, GP Bullhound, Back in Black Capital and Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“Our promise to the esports industry is that we will — regardless of player ability or experience — provide a platform that enables anyone to participate in esports. That means going beyond just making tournaments easy to host to creating a fun and inclusive community,” said Robel Efrem, co-founder and CEO.

In addition to serving players, the competitive gaming platform allows brands, content creators, game developers and professional tournament organisers to engage and monetise their target audiences. Founded in 2014, the Stockholm-based startup has secured a variety of partnerships, including FIFA, digital festival DreamHack and Fnatic, an esports team.

The financing round will fuel global expansion (particularly in North America) and “accelerated monetization” of the platform. The funding will also go to product development, creating ways for game developers to access the startup’s technology and new partnerships.

Efrem added: “With the additional backing we’re able to double down on our core mission of delivering the best competitive gaming experience to each and everyone’s home, in any game.”

Photo: Challengermode founder and CEO Robel Efrem

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