Raptr is a software company that manages a social network designed specifically for gamers, through which users can track achievements, interact with other users, track gameplay time and manage games. It also automatically optimises the PC settings of its users.
Raptr was founded in 2007 by former professional gamer Dennis Fong (“Fong”) and former Google engineer Patrick Li (“Li”). The concept for the platform was first created by Fong, who, as an experienced PC gamer, found that the process of optimising PC performance for games was complicated and often overlooked by gamers. He believed that the process of optimising PC settings should be painless and largely automated for all users.
Fong and Li began developing the platform in 2007 using $3 million of funding from angel investors. The Company completed its first formal round of investor funding in 2008, raising $12 million from Accel Partners and Founders Fund. In 2011 Raptr raised a further $15 million in its Series B funding round and in 2015 raised $14 million in its Series C round. The proceeds of its most recent funding round will reportedly be used to expand the Company’s workforce in order to keep pace with the growth of the Raptr network, which attracts a reported 2 million new users each month.
Business model of Raptr
Raptr caters to consumers that are active within the PC gaming community and wish to share their gaming experiences and achievements with a broader community. The Company is reported to have more than 46 million users from over 100 countries worldwide, and attracts around 2 million new users each month.
The Company’s target market of PC gamers is reported to have a relatively even ratio of males to females, with an average age of around 38 years old. The majority of these users consider themselves to be casual gamers.
Raptr also serves advertising agencies and brand marketers seeking to expand their reach within the gaming community, promote brand awareness and launch new products to a target audience.
Raptr has a number of value propositions for its customers.
For its user base, the Company makes all the features of its social network available free of charge. Following registration users can share achievements and experiences, interact with other users, and record gameplay at no cost. Users are also able to participate in the platform’s rewards scheme, earning real world rewards for achievements unlocked in the games that they play.
The Raptr network is easily accessible through through internet browsers and apps, allowing users to interact from anywhere at any time, and is compatible with a range of large, third-party gaming network and social network functionality.
The network also provides a captive audience for advertisers, offering companies opportunities to extend their brand reach to new and existing customers.
The Raptr network can be accessed via its desktop and mobiles websites at www.raptr.com, or through a free desktop application download for Windows PCs, also available at the Company’s website. The Raptr platform cannot currently be accessed via mobile apps.
The Raptr social network supports instant messaging services Yahoo Instant Messenger, Gtalk, Windows Live Messenger, Xfire, ICQ and Facebook Chat. Raptr allows users to integarte their Steam gaming accounts to the service, enabling easier sharing and updates.
Until recently users were also able to import Xbox Live and PlayStation Network accounts. Console support, however, has been phased out in favour of enhancing its offerings for PC gamers.
Raptr is a self-service social network. Users are able to register for the service through the Company’s website with no interaction with Raptr representatives required, and can access the platform’s full suite of networking tools at no cost, immediately following completion of the registration process.
The Raptr network’s content is generated by its community members who share video and achievements and interact with one another through instant messaging services. The Raptr website also hosts a support page where users can access FAQs and technical support forums.
In addition to interacting with users through its own social network, Raptr manages social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Twitch.
Raptr operates a platform that enables PC gamers to share gameplay footage and achievements, interact with other network users, discover personalised content, and earn real world rewards for their gaming achievements. Its downloadable client also purports to optimise the graphics and processing speeds of its users, with the Company collecting data from its users and using this information to advise its customers what optimisation settings are best for certain games.
The Raptr platform supports PC gaming communities such as Steam, as well as a variety of instant messaging services, and allows gamers to measure their skill and experience through the network’s proprietary reputation system.
Raptr also provides advertising and brand promotion solutions, primarily to gaming studios and developers and collaborates with a number of tech and gaming companies.
Raptr partners with a number of companies from both inside and outside the PC gaming industry.
Its partners fall predominantly into one of four categories.
Firstly, the Company partners with advertisers and marketers to provide targeted advertising solutions and to promote sales, primarily in the form of display advertising.
Raptr also partners with companies, often gaming and software companies, as part of cost-per-action advertising campaigns that aim to generate monetisation opportunities for its partners. Raptr’s rewards partners with a variety of companies, including retailers and gaming companies, that participate in and contribute to the Company’s user rewards scheme, allowing them to incentivise new and existing customers and move inventory.
Game developers can also raise awareness for their games by partnering Raptr in organising community events, such as question and answer sessions, game nights and contests. Among Raptr’s largest partners are Amazon, ADP, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Logitech and Blizzard.
Raptr also partners with software companies intel and Advanced Micro Devices to provide its users with up to date chip technologies.
Raptr’s key resources are its technology – including its social networking platform, its IT infrastructure and its personnel. Raptr has no patent applications filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The Company’s advertising partners are also key, as their contributions account for the majority of Raptr’s annual revenue.
Raptr’s principal costs relate to the development and maintenance of its social networking platform, the maintenance of its IT infrastructure – including servers and data centres, and management of its partnerships.
The Company also incurs costs through its user rewards scheme and must pay salaries to its workforce of around 50 employees.
Raptr generates revenue through its various advertising solutions. This includes cost-per-action advertising campaigns, where the Company places advertisements from gaming and software companies on within its free-to-play gaming marketplace, where many of the Company’s heavy users are active, and more traditional display advertising solutions across the rest of the Raptr social network. While Raptr does not disclose its revenue figures, the Company’s ad revenue is reported to amount to several million dollars each year.
Reports also suggest that Raptr may generate a small amount of revenue through its user reward system, with sponsors, primarily game publishers and retail companies, paying to contribute rewards directly to the program in exchange for greater visibility for their products and brand promotion. It is unclear how much revenue is currently generated using this method.