Tribe Gaming raises $1.04 million from celebrity athletes to expand its mobile esports business

Tribe Gaming has raised $1.04 million to expand its mobile esports teams and expand its esports media business.

The Austin, Texas-based company has courted celebrities, and investors in the deal include Gordon Hayward of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, Kristian Segerstrale (CEO of Super Evil Megacorp), Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) of the WWE, and angel investor Victor Krahn.

Tribe Gaming was founded in 2017 by Patrick “Chief Pat” Carney and Jonathan “DonJon” Sakoucky to drive the growth of mobile media, entertainment and esports. Carney is an esports advocate and mobile gaming content creator, while Sakoucky is one of the first mobile esports organizers, advocates, and content creators.

Analytics firm Newzoo recently estimated that the mobile games market will be worth $76.1 billion in 2020 and that mobile will be the largest segment of the games market overall, accounting for 47.4%.

Tribe said it is one of the few organizations that grew organically from within the community and remains completely mobile-focused today, with a mission to unify content creators, pro players, and fans across mobile gaming.

As Tribe’s investment partners, celebrity athletes and fan icons Hayward and Cesaro plan to be active members of the Tribe and the mobile gaming community, and produce content alongside Tribe’s creators to address the community that they feel at home in.

“I’ve been an NBA All-Star and made it to the NCAA championship, but I still get a rush when I’m taking down my enemy’s towers in a game of Clash,” said Hayward, in a statement. “Tribe is about celebrating mobile gaming, whether it’s by cheering your team on the sidelines or watching your favorite streamers on your couch. I’ve been a mobile gaming fan for a long time, and I can’t wait to help bring those experiences to more people around the world.”

Claudio Castagnoli, professional wrestler for the WWE, said in a statement, “I’ve been watching Pat for over five years – he was the guy to watch in Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, and still is today. I first met him through a collaboration with the WWE – we did a workout competition (guess who won) and some Clash Royale 1v1 (guess again) and 2v2s. We hit it off right away. What brought me to watch his videos in the first place is the same reason why I’m a fan of Tribe and Pat today – he’s authentic, he loves what he does, and he brings people together from all walks of life who love video games. To say I’m very excited to be part of Tribe would be an understatement. Fear the Tribe.”

The company represents some of the biggest names in mobile content and talented players in esports. Tribe has tried to create a powerhouse of creators, and so far they have collectively garnered more than 15 million subscribers and 67 million monthly views on YouTube alone, and Tribe’s esports teams compete in five major mobile titles.

“Just a few years ago, mobile games were dismissed as simple puzzles and time-wasters – now mobile has grown into its own ecosystem of complex games and world-class competition, with an extremely passionate fanbase at its core,” said Patrick Carney, CEO of Tribe, in a statement. “We started Tribe to help mobile gaming grow into the best it can be, and I’m grateful for the confidence our new investors have placed in our vision to help it reach the next level.”

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