Google Invests In Chinese Mobile Live Streaming Startup

TNL Take: Due to The Great Firewall of China, Google's numerous products including YouTube and its core Search functionality are not accessible to the country's 1B+ population. 

Google is looking to circumvent these restrictions through last week's investment in Chinese mobile live streaming and esports platform, Chushou

Founded in 2015, Chushou has 90M registered users and 8M Unique Streamers - while smaller than other Chinese live streaming sites like Douyu.tv (30M Daily Active Users) or Panda.tv - with Google's involvement, Chushou will be looking to grow internationally as well.

Chushou's main notable difference is that it focuses on live streaming mobile games where China's usage is enormous. My chats with China Global Television Network around mobile gaming usage:

Along with the Google/Chushou investment, China's YY Inc. is planning to spin off it's esports video platform Huya Broadcasting in the U.S. and seeking to raise $200M.

Time will tell if Google will be able to grow Chushou to compete with Twitch outside of China but this significant investment shows another big bet on mobile gaming and esports.

TNL eSports Startups 006: Critical Force Gets $4.5M Seed For Mobile eSports

TNL eSports Startups 006: Critical Force

TNL eSports Startups 006: Critical Force (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL Take: According to my data, about half of you are reading this right now on a Mobile device.

I'd guess half of you had your phone within ten feet of where you woke up today.

In rapid transition, the PC revolution was trumped by the Internet, which in turn led to the massive Mobile revolution - of which all could be beaten by VR/AR.

A Mobile eSports title is no longer a question; it's just a question of time.

eSports was definitely a motivating factor for the world's largest Gaming company, Tencent, to buy a controlling stake in Mobile developer Supercell at a $10B valuation.

 

Yesterday, Finnish Gaming developer Critical Force announced a €4M ($4.5M) seed round from South Korean company NHN for Mobile eSports.

TNL eSports Startups 006: Critical Force (Photo: Critical Force)

This is also the third Nordic eSports investment in the past month following Sweden's Znipe and Strafe.

 

NHN is one of those typical Asian tech companies that have their hands in a few different pies: Search portal, Mobile Games, Online Mall, a Video Camera, etc.

However, NHN has one key infrastructure piece which makes total sense for Critical Force:

LINE MESSAGING APP

A Line Store In Japan (Photo: Fast Company)

Line, a messaging App similar to WhatsApp or KakaoTalk, is massively popular in Japan beating Facebook for users.

This provides a great potential Mobile eSports platform.

With the definition of "Necessity is the Mother of Invention", Line was actually developed by NHN engineer's in response to the 2011 Japanese earthquake that destroyed communication infrastructure. That's a damn good Minimal Viable Product.

If you're going to try and establish Mobile eSports; Gaming/Phone/eSports obsessed South Korea and Japan wouldn't be a bad place to start.

 

And maybe the Japanese know something about making a Mobile game popular.