The next big social network will likely emerge from games.
People of all ages are increasingly spending more and more time with friends in virtual worlds. Games have huge advantages over static websites or apps in kindling social connections. Built from the ground up as living worlds, games like Fortnite and Roblox are immersive, interactive, and fundamentally social.
Receiving a ‘like’ on Facebook pales in comparison to being rescued by a friend from certain death. The in-game adventures we go on with friends create emotions and memories just as vivid as those in real life. I first courted my wife in the game League of Legends, where we learned to support one another long before we tied the knot.
Yet if games are our new social space, it’s odd that there are still relatively few ways to capture and share moments in games. Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and others have built huge audiences around sharing real-life stories. In contrast, the majority of game footage today is memorialized on YouTube, a platform that’s now 16 years old. Few of those videos are personalized or relevant to a user’s social graph. The gameplay moments we care most about—those with our friends and family—are largely ephemeral and stored only in our memories.
Lowkey has an ambitious vision for tackling this space, and I am incredibly excited to announce that Andreessen Horowitz is leading its Series A.
Lowkey has built a best-in-class software tool for capturing and sharing gameplay video. With the click of a button, game footage can be captured, edited, and shared broadly to social networks, as well as private chat groups on Lowkey composed of friends, family, or guildmates. Lowkey’s editing tools help users find and highlight their best moments. And they work cross-platform—record on PC, edit on mobile, and consume anywhere.
Users love Lowkey—the top four major U.S. esports teams all use Lowkey to capture their game footage (Cloud 9, TSM, 100 Thieves, Gen G). Over 12 million unique devices watched a Lowkey video in the last month, and that number is growing.
Founder and CEO Jesse Zhang brings to Lowkey a unique combination of technical chops, entrepreneurial grit, and personal passion as a lifelong gamer (he’s Master Tier in TFT!). The son of immigrant parents, Jesse taught himself how to program at the age of 11 and personally wrote much of the code for the first version of Lowkey. Exemplifying the company’s name, Jesse is also incredibly grounded, often spending his evenings answering Discord support tickets from Lowkey users. With this funding round, Jesse plans to rapidly expand the team across engineering and design—check out Lowkey’s job board!
Games are the only form of media that natively generates video while being consumed. As people spend more time in virtual worlds, sharing our best gameplay moments with friends and family will become a key part of our social lives. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Jesse and the entire Lowkey team on a journey to build the defining video social network for the virtual-world generation.
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