Esports Pioneer Alex Garfield Raises $9 Million To Launch Gaming Upstart ‘Popdog’

By 12/20/2018
Esports Pioneer Alex Garfield Raises $9 Million To Launch Gaming Upstart ‘Popdog’

Alex Garfield, a pioneer in the gaming industry who sold his esports organization GoodGame — which comprised pro teams Evil Geniuses and Alliance — to Twitch in 2014, has just announced his next act.

On the heels of a $9 million Series A funding round led by Makers Fund and with participation by Korea Investment Partners, Garfield has founded Popdog — which is billed as a technology and services company that will develop products to help brands, game publishers, talent, tournaments, and other stakeholders optimize live game streaming. At launch, Popdog has acquired three other companies in the esports realm: sponsorship and merchandising upstart Loaded; Twitch discovery and analytics product NoScope; and the esports division of Catalyst Sports & Media — an advisory firm for businesses seeking to enter the gaming space.

Garfield is an esports goliath as a proven entrepreneur and also the winningest individual team owner in esports history in terms of prize money, according to Popdog. His co-founders include former Counter-Strike world champion Andreas Thorstensson, serial entrepreneur Niles Heron, and former GoodGame exec Colin DeShong. Thorstensson, who also co-founded the esports company-slash-social platform SK Gaming, will serve as CTO and CPO of Popdog, while Heron will serve as CSO, and DeShong has been named CCO.

Furthermore, Loaded founder Brandon Freytag and NoScope founders Justin Malara and Kyle DeWitt will also join the team at Popdog in leadership roles. Josh Swartz, co-founder of Catalyst Sports & Media, will serve as Popdog’s COO.

“We’re building our company around the core belief that esports and gaming video content, born more from technology than any other sports or entertainment verticals we’ve seen, need better technology in order to be properly understood, monetized, and optimized,” Garfield said in a statement. “The industry needs a backend, and our mission is to be that backend by supporting the ecosystem as a whole with a comprehensive offering of technology and services.”

In addition to the acquisitions, funds will be used for new tech and product development hires, the company said.