Bunch, the first app that lets users join their friends in group video chat while playing mobile games, has raised $3.8 million in seed funding from several VC firms including Founders Fund, Betaworks, North Zone, Streamlined Ventures and 500 Startups.
— Bunch (@bunchgames) August 26, 2018
According to the announcement, the app now supports live voice and video chat for up to 8 players on popular mobile games, including Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft and HQ Trivia. Bunch’s video chat is inspired by ‘LAN parties,’ where gamers used to get together and play video games in the same room.
“A lot of us grew up playing PC games like Starcraft and Counterstrike with friends in the same room. Most of the fun in playing these games with friends comes from the ability to laugh together and trash talk during the games,” said Selcuk Atli, the co-founder and CEO of Bunch. “With the rise of live mobile games like Fortnite and Roblox, younger gamers are trading in the large screens of their PCs and consoles for smartphones so they can play with their friends anytime, anywhere. We are building the chat application designed for them.”
Bunch plans to use the new capital to ramp up user acquisition and expand its developer platform, the Bunch Presence SDK. This developer toolset allows game devs to better integrate Bunch’s video chat functionality directly into their games.
Bunch’s fundraising comes as mobile esports continues to gain traction, with platforms like Skillz paying out an average of $675,000 to gamers each day. The trend is showing no signs of slowing, as mobile games accounted for roughly $70 billion of the $138 billion video game market this year.