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Gaming talent agency Loaded raises new funding

Apr 6, 2022
Illustration of pixelated game coins arranged in order of ascending size

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Loaded, a Los Angeles-based company supporting creators and brands in gaming, has raised $20 million in growth equity funding, CEO Josh Swartz tells Axios.

Why it matters: As gaming continues to scale, creators and brands need resources and guidance to work together and grow in the industry.

Details: Coral Tree Partners led the round. Other participants were not disclosed.

  • Loaded had raised $9 million from Makers Fund and Korea Investment Partners in 2018 as part of Popdog, a company comprised of three gaming-related companies — Loaded, Noscope and Catalyst Sports & Media.
  • Swartz declined to share valuation or revenue, but he says Loaded is profitable.
  • Loaded's brand clients include Gillette, Red Bull, Capitol Records and Verizon. Its talent roster includes Shroud, DrLupo, CouRage and Myth.

Meanwhile, Loaded also updated its C-suite. Swartz, who was co-founder of Catalyst Sports & Media and joined Popdog as COO, was promoted to CEO of Loaded last fall.

  • Bridget Davidson, formerly of Riot Games, is now president of talent. Loaded co-founder and former president of talent Brandon Freytag is chief creator monetization officer. Popdog co-founder Niles Heron is chief communications and culture officer of Loaded.
  • FaZe Clan CRO Jeff Pabst is Loaded's chief commercial officer. Paul Conroy, who helped build The Vans Park Series and Good Dye Young, is president of Loaded Ventures.
  • Alan Resnikoff and Henry Shapiro from Coral Tree Partners — who work as a partner and executive adviser, respectively — are joining Loaded's board.

What's next: With this new funding, Loaded is looking to acquire companies that can expand its global reach and improve its data and analytics.

  • "We're also big fans of web3 and companies that look at the metaverse for its utility and not just its buzzwordiness," Swartz says.
  • Loaded plans to grow from 50 to at least 65 employees this year.
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