Earlier this year I wrote about Gwoop, a team out of Minnesota building a collection of browser-based games meant to help you get better at video games overall. Their games measure things like how quickly you react, how accurately you move the mouse or how quickly you can aim at a randomly placed target, then provides all those stats in a dashboard to show how you're improving (hopefully) over time.
Last time I talked with Gwoop co-founder Gavin Lee, he was already hinting at dreams of being the go-to analytics/training tool for the increasing number of high school esports teams. More and more schools are starting to take esports seriously — and just like any other kind of coach, esports coaches need some way to see who's good at what, track player improvements over time and run their players through warmup drills.
It seems Gwoop is already making solid progress there; Lee tells me that Gwoop is now working with "about 1,000 school programs across 40 states." Now they've raised a $1.85 million seed round to keep that ball rolling.
Gwoop's platform is, and will continue to be, free for individual players — something that Lee tells me he sees as crucial. So how will they make money?
Image Credits: Gwoop
Over the last few months the company has been building out "Gwoop Teams," which, as the name implies, is built for groups training together. Through Teams, coaches are able to assign training regimens, check in to see if players are practicing and see how each player is improving over time.
The base version of Teams is free, supporting a roster of up to 30 players and two "parties" — one "party" for grouping your Rocket League players, another for your League of Legends players, your Fortnite players, etc. For coaches that need more than that, Gwoops "Team Plus" offering bumps the roster up to 150 players and increases the number of parties a coach can oversee. Lee tells me that Teams Plus costs about $350 a year.
Another area that Lee tells me they're exploring, though its early days: using machine learning to help players (and their coaches) identify the games they'd already be good at based on their existing skills and ranks in other competitive games.
Lee tells me that this round was backed by Montreal's Angels of Many, Klein Investments and a number of angels.