RivalRyze: Fred’s Vision for Community-Driven Competitions

Fred founded RivalRyze to help communities gamify their passions. They target gamers, promote community challenges, and focus on user feedback

Fred, the founder of RivalRyze, started his journey with a clear vision: to help communities foster competition in whatever their passion might be.

"Our goal is to gamify your passion, whatever that might be," says Fred. The idea came to him while playing video games with friends. As they got older, they noticed they were getting worse at gaming, but their desire to compete and have fun never waned.

"When I looked online, most ‘esports’ platforms were tailored to hardcore gamers joining public tournaments and competing for small crypto prizes. I saw a gap in the market: the gamification of communities based on their common hobby or interest," Fred explains.

RivalRyze allows users to create challenges within their communities for various competition goals, such as being the first to get all achievements in the new Elden Ring DLC, winning the most competitive Dota 2 matches in a month, or earning the most achievement points across all games in a week.

"Whatever the passion, we want to support it through competition within your community. We want to gamify, everything," Fred emphasises.

Targeting Gamers and Building Community Engagement

For the MVP, RivalRyze is focused on gamers aged 18 and above, particularly those who enjoy completing achievements and are "trophy hunters."

Fred mentions, "As with any early-stage startup, we are currently more focused on user feedback and features over marketing."To build early organic growth, Fred created a Discord app that can be added to servers, allowing communities to engage in challenges and keep track of their friends' stats and milestones.

The app includes features like community challenges, achievement updates, leaderboards, game stats, and more.

"By providing communities with a fun and engaging way to keep track of their friends' stats and milestones, we will attract other communities to add the app to their servers," says Fred.

Overcoming Challenges and Building a Strong Team

One of the biggest challenges Fred faced was being a solo founder. Technical challenges were enjoyable for Fred, but dealing with legal, accounting, and HR tasks was less so.

However, Fred's journey was made easier by his dedicated team. "We are now five in the RivalRyze family, and seeing this team make sacrifices and work so hard has made all the harder times worth it," he notes.

Although RivalRyze is currently in a closed beta with few users, Fred is certain that as the user base grows, they will face many more challenges.

Funding and Strategic Decisions

RivalRyze secured funding through a SAFE deal with a VC team, providing a runway for another year. Fred had been working on RivalRyze part-time for a year while still at his full-time job, but decided to leave his job and focus on RivalRyze full-time. "The reality is that it takes money to make money, " Fred says.

For six months, he worked hard to make the product attractive to early investors, and successfully closed the deal at the beginning of 2024.

"If I hadn’t closed the deal, I would have gladly returned to work with new skills and experiences gained from my full-time focus on the project," Fred reflects.

Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Fred has clear short-term and long-term goals for RivalRyze.The immediate goal is to grow the community and gather feedback. In the short term (1-2 months), the focus is on releasing the MVP (closed beta) to 30 users for load testing, capturing user feedback on features, and building an active Discord community.

"Until now, I have been scope creeping with features without actually gathering user feedback. This is something I used to complain about my old bosses and CEOs, but that I now suffer from myself!" Fred admits.

In the long term (2-10 months), RivalRyze aims to release an open beta, launch the Discord bot for any community to add, and support various competitive games, chess platforms, mobile games, and fitness apps like Strava, Peloton, and Apple Fitness.

By the end of the year, Fred plans to close the first round of equity financing.

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