Newcastle-based tech startup, Grid Finder, has raised an investment of £200,000 to develop its gaming and esports community platform that helps racers find racing and helps esport community managers manage their race calendars, results & standings, communication and much more. The investment comes from an angel syndicate, led by Kevin Beales.
Grid Finder was set up by Newcastle locals Tom Bunten and Nikhil Patel. Tom & Nikhil are huge motorsport fans with a love of esports and online racing. They identified that the sim racing market was growing quickly but was fragmented. Grid Finder is being built to bring communities together and lower the barrier to entry for ambitious racers and community managers.
The company already has over 1800 esports communities listed on its online platform, and will use the investment to grow their community and improve on and expand their features.
Tom, Founder of Grid Finder, said: “I built Grid Finder to solve a problem for what I thought was a relatively niche group of sim racers I’d been racing with online. 6 months later, over 1000 esports communities had listed themselves on Grid Finder and I realised this was a real opportunity to build a useful suite of tools that solves problems for over 1.8 million sim racers and hundreds of millions of casual online racers worldwide.
I met Grid Finder’s new CTO, Nikhil, and our investor, Kevin, in the queue for the bar at the Ignite social event at By The River Brew Co. in late 2021. Nikhil and I joined the accelerator and closed our funding round with Kevin in early 2022. This investment from Kevin allows us to take Grid Finder from being a “passion project” to being a major player in the sim racing world.
We now have the means to develop faster and market Grid Finder to a larger audience. Most importantly, we now have the advice and guidance of Kevin and his investment syndicate who between them have decades of experience in sales and SaaS”
Kevin Beales, Angel investor, said: “From our first casual meeting at the Ignite event, I was impressed by what Tom had achieved in such a short period, the scale of opportunity globally and his vision. When shared with other angel investors, they felt the same and we were keen to support Tom and Nikhil.
The fact that Tom could meet his co-founder, the Ignite team and his future investors – in one evening at an Ignite social event, shows the crucial role organisations like Ignite play, ensuring the future success in the North East, of exciting tech companies like Grid Finder.
The company is now looking to speak to advertisers and sponsors about opportunities on their platform, with their esports team and on their podcast.