Bunch attracts investment from EA and Ubisoft in $20m round

18 Sep 2020

A man playing a game on an iPad. Image: © fizkes/Stock.adobe.com

A number of top gaming companies such as Riot Games, Ubisoft, EA and Krafton have participated in Bunch’s Series A funding round.

On Thursday (17 September), gaming tech start-up Bunch announced that it has raised $20m in Series A funding, in a round led by General Catalyst.

The start-up, which has built a party app for multiplayer games that enables players to hold a group video chat, also caught the eye of several top gaming companies. Investors in the round included EA, Take-Two Interactive, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Mixi, Miniclip, Colopl, Supercell and PUBG developer Krafton.

Besides investors from the gaming sector, Bunch also received backing from LVP, Northzone, Streamlined Ventures, Konvoy Ventures, OneTeam Ventures, Velo Partners, Golden Venture Partners and Alven Capital Partners.

Funding plans

Bunch allows players to connect with their friends over video chat while playing online multiplayer games. Its tech can also be integrated into games by developers.

The concept for the app was inspired by LAN parties, where gamers get together and play video games in the same room. Bunch aims to deliver the same experience on smartphones and tablets, regardless of each individual player’s location.

With the latest round of funding, Bunch plans to grow its user base and accelerate integrations with popular multiplayer games.

Bunch CEO and co-founder Selçuk Atli said: “Multiplayer games are the new social networks. And in these trying times where we are isolated from each other, games are how people are choosing to spend time with friends.

“Each game is a disconnected island, and at Bunch we are creating one way for players to connect with friends inside and outside of their favourite games. We are super excited to partner with General Catalyst and, importantly, makers of many of the most popular games in the world as our investors.”

The start-up said that it has seen a spike in growth as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with more users downloading Bunch to connect with friends during restrictions put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Bunch said that its audience has become more mainstream, with its demographic expanding from Gen Z males to millennial players who are 60pc female.

Niko Bonatsos, managing director at General Catalyst, said: “We are big believers in Bunch’s long-term vision to create one place where people gather with friends to play all of their favourite games. And the enthusiastic and unprecedented support Bunch has from the games industry is a testament to the company’s potential to define the next standard in multiplayer games.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic