4 gaming startups that are set to soar in 2020, according to venture-capital investors

  • Business Insider asked 11 top venture-capital investors which media startups they thought would thrive in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, including companies they were and weren’t invested in.
  • Gaming and esports startups that are helping widen the audience for the sector were a major theme among the companies the investors thought were poised to take off.
  • Four of the investors’ 19 startup picks were in the gaming sector, including PlayVS, Roblox, Treehouse Games, and 12traits.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The gaming industry underwent a major transformation as mobile devices made gaming more accessible. Now, pandemic lockdowns are granting some players more time to explore and immerse themselves in gaming.

Research firm Nielsen found in early June that 82% of global consumers surveyed said they’d played video games and watched video-game content since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns started in March. More gamers in the US, France, the UK, and Germany also said they were spending more time playing video games than before the pandemic.

Gaming studios like Epic Games have found creative ways to engage with the influx of people who are stuck at home. The Fortnite creator organized new concerts by artists like Travis Scott and Diplo within the game.

Sports fans may also be helping drive the lift in interest in gaming. When lives sports were forced to go off the air in mid-March, organizations such as NASCAR looked to esports to keep fans engaged. Professional soccer players and other athletes also started livestreaming on platforms geared toward gamers, like Twitch.

Viewing on Twitch spiked toward the end of March thanks to people who were stuck at home, Nielsen found

Business Insider asked 11 investors which media startups they thought would surge this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and why, including startups they were and weren’t invested in. Gaming startups were a major theme among the investors’ 19 company picks.

Venture-capitalist investors including Shanti Bergel, managing director at Transcend Fund, told Business Insider that the expansion of the gaming market was accelerating amid the pandemic and startups that play into that trend were poised to take off.

“The most exciting things that are happening in games these days have to do with the expansion of the audience,” said Bergel, whose fund invests in early-stage startups in the gaming sector.

The gaming startups the investors picked touched on esports, collaborative gaming, and gaming analytics.

The four picks in the gaming sector are listed below in alphabetical order.

Read about all the VCs’ media startup picks on Business Insider:

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