Overwolf, a platform that allows creators to build, distribute and monetize in-game apps, has raised $52.5 million led by Griffin Gaming Partners and Insight Partners.
The company, which is also announcing the launch of a new platform for user-generated content, additionally received financing from Ubisoft, Warner Music Group, former Quibi CEO Meg Whitman and Gen.G co-founder Kevin Chou.
“Similar to how developers use Unity to build a game, we see Overwolf as the framework for everything UGC related to games,” said Griffin Gaming co-founder and LionTree managing director Nick Tuosto. “Overwolf allows for one of the only means of monetization for the thousands of creators, in turn, this translates to increased engagement for the publishers and more content for gamers. Services like Overwolf set the stage for the industry to see a new generation of user-generated content and we are excited to invest in the leading company moving this space forward.”
Insight managing director Teddie Wardi added, “We’ve been following UGC in gaming for many years and believe Overwolf has established itself as a leader in this category. AAA game studios will want to allow creators to build and express themselves, and Overwolf is positioned as the platform to make this possible by ensuring that creators are recognized for their contributions, and easily integrating creations into games. Overwolf has proved themselves to be strong champions of the creator community and we look forward to helping them scale up in 2021.”
Tel Aviv-based Overwolf works with some 30,000 creators and has 18 million monthly active users. In 2020, it acquired CurseForge, a repository of modifications — or “mods” — for video games including Warcraft and Minecraft, from Twitch. The company is now launching CurseForge Core to help users discover and install mods in-game, across platforms and storefronts.
Overwolf says it has seen 300 percent growth as the market for gaming content expands.
“We are at a new user-generated content inflection point, and the strong growth of gaming lies largely in the hands of ‘in-game creators,’ a term we coined to categorize this new generation of in-game app creators and mod authors,” said co-founder and CEO Uri Marchand. “The more content and customizability a game has, the more likely a gamer will keep experiencing its content and by that extending the longevity of the game and generating more value for game developers and publishers in the long run.”
He continued, “By offering CurseForge Core, we are accelerating the community-created content movement by enabling publishers to easily integrate mods safely and seamlessly into their existing and new games. With the backing of the most notable investors in the space, we are confident that the Overwolf platform will lay the groundwork for a new era of AAA game creation.”
The company will use its new round of funding to continuing to provide services for creators and to create opportunities to invest in and with the in-game creator community.
Warner Music sees the opportunity to invest as in-game music experiences are on the rise. “At Warner Music Group we’re constantly experimenting and innovating to find new opportunities to serve our artists and music fans around the world,” said Oana Ruxandra, executive vp of business development and chief digital officer at the record label. “We’re excited to invest in a likeminded company like Overwolf who is pushing the boundaries on what’s possible in gaming, and we look forward to exploring more ways in which our worlds can intersect.”