France-based Powder, a startup that uses video recording and artificial intelligence to detect a player’s highlights automatically, has announced that it has raised $14M (approx €11.5M) in its Series A round of funding.
According to Stanislas Coppin, Powder’s co-founder, “Gaming is booming, and video on mobile is booming, fueled by short form. We create a bridge between these two worlds. For us, it’s an oddity that it’s so hard for people to share their best gaming moments with like-minded people. We are working to solve that.”
Powder in brief
Powder is aiming to catalyse social interactions through gaming. It uses machine learning technology to enhance gamers’ experience by automatically finding video highlights in their gameplay and showcasing their content to like-minded gamers on the platform.
The startup’s platform lets gamers import game clips recorded on mobile, PC, and consoles. Gamers can then edit their game clips using the Powder video editor. The company claims that an equal volume of content comes from each platform.
Investors in this round
The current round was led by Serena – a VC that invests in bold ventures, providing them on-demand expertise and operational support in Paris, New York, and Singapore.
The round also saw participation from investors including General Catalyst, Slow Ventures, Alven Capital, Bpifrance through its fund Digital Venture, Secocha Ventures, Turner Novak, and Kevin Hartz.
Use of this fund
The company claims it will use the capital to increase the pace of building the video infrastructure of social gaming. “Our goal is to create bridges with gaming organisations across the globe, starting with helping game publishers gain and retain audiences organically,” says Stanislas.
With the Series A round, Powder’s current total funding is about $18M (approx €14.8M). Prior to this, the company has raised a pre-seed round of $400K (approx €329K); a Seed round of $1.5M (approx €1.2M); and another Seed round extension of $1.3M (approx €1M).
Everything about Powder?
The startup was co-founded by Stanislas Coppin, Barthelemy Kiss, Yannis Mangematin, and Christian Navelot. The idea for Powder came in December 2019 when the team created a community on Discord (a community creator website) to understand how gamers were creating game clips.
“The community literally blew up and rapidly reached over 50,000 members. When we realised how much people wanted to create, edit and share game clips, we knew we were onto something that could impact millions of gamers across all gaming platforms,” reminisces Stanislas.
Powder was officially launched on the App Store on 10th April 2020, and since then, it has over 1.5 million downloads mostly from the US.
Stanislas says, “We believe anyone playing any game on any platform for as little as 5 minutes can create cool video content. Ten years after the emergence of the camera of the real world – Instagram – the time has come for the emergence of the camera of the metaverse: Powder, at a time when we spend more and more time in games. Once Powder becomes mainstream, everyone will seamlessly record their life as a gamer and build their virtual identities in a safe space.”
According to Powder, surveyed users generally use PC software to edit the content and take an average of two hours to edit one minute of video. The company aims to become the camera of the Metaverse. People increasingly live online, in games, and it hopes to allow them to capture their highlights here for perpetuity.
The most popular games posted on the platform are multiplayer. They range from first-person shooters (Fortnite, Rainbow Six, Call of Duty) to open worlds (Roblox, GTA, Animal Crossing), sports (NBA 2K, Madden NFL, FIFA), and gaming sensations (Among Us, Fall Guys).
There are platforms out there that cater to social interactions whilst gaming, such as Twitch and Discord, and Powder does fall under this category. However, the company feels that it’s different from the pack. “While Twitch focuses on live videos that are long in duration, with relatively few contributors and massive audiences watching, Powder addresses the long tail of gamers and focuses on short, asynchronous video clips,” the company mentions.