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ESports Startup FaceIt Raises $15 Million, Opens L.A. Office

FaceIt, a U.K.-based startup that runs an online multiplayer game platform, has raised $15 million in venture-capital funding and is eyeing U.S. expansion.

The Series A funding, from investment firms Anthos Capital, Index Ventures and United Ventures, comes after FaceIt raised a $2 million seed round last year led by United Ventures. The company said it will use the investment to expand its team and continue to build out its technology and platform. FaceIt this month opened an office in Los Angeles, angling to strike partnerships with U.S.-based game developers, publishers and other partners.

Founded in London in 2012, FaceIt claims to have more than 3.5 million users on its eSports platform. The service lets gamers participate in tournaments and leagues for prizes through automated tournament management and matchmaking.

“With this round of funding, we will be able to further our three-pronged mission for a competitive gaming platform: a robust competitive community for players and organizers, an easy-to-implement competitive layer for developers, and custom offerings for brands, tied to their products and services,” Niccolo Maisto, founder and CEO of FaceIt, said in announcing the investment.

In the past year, FaceIt has worked with various partners in the eSports ecosystem, including Amazon’s Twitch, Valve, and Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting and WME/IMG, which have formed their own online-gaming league, dubbed ELeague, and plan to broadcast the tournaments on TV.

“FaceIt has proven an ability to build mutually successful partnerships with game publishers, major media companies and other industry leaders,” Index Ventures partner Ben Holmes said in a statement.

According to FaceIt, its active users engage in an average of more than three game sessions per day. For developers, the company offers a software development kit to integrate matchmaking and tournaments into their titles to let gamers of all skill levels take part in competitive online games.

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