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Russian-Lithuanian startup Gosu.ai raises $1.9 million from Russian and French investors

Just two months after the Russian cybersports market witnessed two major acquisitions and a $30 million ICO, Gosu.ai, a Russian-founded startup announced that it attracted $1.9 million in funding

May 08, 2018
The round was led by Runa Capital, a VC fund with Russian roots, with participation from its existing investor Sistema VC, the venture arm of the Russian conglomerate Sistema, and French fund Ventech.

Founded last year by Alisa Chumachenko, the founder and former co-owner of mobile gaming company Game Insight, this based in Vilnius-based startup offers an AI-powered eSports platform. It aims to "help gamers play better and trains pro gamers by giving them personal recommendations" and "make gaming companies analytics better."

Gosu generates revenue through a monthly subscription and sponsorship agreements, among other sources. Users are offered a limited amount of free content with a basic subscription plan at $2 per month and premium benefits for $20 a month.

Currently the startup partners with such companies as Microsoft, Nvidia, ESL, Vkontakte and Wargaming, among others.

The company claims to have attracted some 50,000 users a month after the launch of its open beta testing.

Currently Gosu.ai supports such games as Dota 2, Cs:Go and Pubg. In 2019, the startup is planning to support Hearthstone and the World of Tanks, as well.

The latest round brings the total amount attracted by the startup to date to $2.3 milion. Previoulsy, the startup raised funding from Gagarin Capital, a US-based venture fund with Russian roots, and Sistema VC.

A $1.5 billion market

In 2017, the industry reached $1.5 billion and is forecasted to grow up to $ 2.3 billion in 2020, according to data from Superdata Research cited by Russian mobile phone company MTS.

Russia, in turn, is among the front runners of the global eSports industry. A study by PayPal and Superdata Research revealed that the Russian eSports market is the second largest in Europe after Sweden, amounting to $35.4 million in 2016.

In 2016 the Russian government officially recognized eSports (also known as "competitive video gaming" or "computer sports" in Russian) as a sport discipline. Cyber-athletes can thus receive such official titles as "Master of Sports of Russia," "International Master of Sports" and "Honored Master of Sports of Russia."

In 2015, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov announced an investment of "$100 million or more" in Virtus.pro. More recently Winstrike, a Russian globally-oriented eSports company, attracted $10 million from private investor Nikolai Belykh and several business angels.