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Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Bets on Gaming Chat Developer Guilded

San Francisco-based Guilded raised $7 million from Ohanian’s venture capital firm in its effort to make a Discord competitor

Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian on Wednesday backed a new chat platform for gamers called Guilded, investing in the company’s $7 million Series A through his venture capital firm Initialized Capital.

The company said it will use the new funding to continue software development, expand its team — once companies can return to a regular work environment — and seek out partnerships with leading esports teams and game publishers.

Guilded is based in San Francisco and designed its gaming chat software to be a competitor to its neighbor and fellow chat platform Discord. Founded by former pro gamer and Microsoft Xbox developer Eli Brown, Guilded has now raised $10.2 million since its 2017 launch.

The software runs on PCs and Mac computers, and its iPhone and Android app allows users to create events, groups and share documents and files. Guilded said it is designed to work for varying size groups, from small gatherings of friends to enterprise-scale esports teams.

“Today, gaming communities use a variety of tools to chat and to organize, but none of them are built for them,” Brown said in a statement. “We’re building the world’s best platform for connecting communities – and we’re building it specifically for gamers,” he added.

San Francisco-based investors Matrix Partners led the round for Guilded. Initialized Capital, Susa and Sterling.VC were all existing investors in Guilded. They backed the company’s $3.2 million seed round finalized in September 2017.

Ohanian said he wished Guilded’s software had been around when he was a young gamer playing Sony Online Entertainment’s “Everquest” and looking to connect with teammates.

“Eli and Guilded are building the gaming community tools I wish I had when I was a teenager with an ‘Everquest’ guild,” Ohanian said in a statement. “We’re excited to support them on the next phase of their journey as they start to support tournaments, voice, video and more.”

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