The E-sports industry is constantly evolving due to digital and technological growth. Pascal Vanderhaegen and Co-Founder Eliott Brown understood this and jumped on the trend by launching Galea, a platform that allows gamers to create their own video game tournaments. The goal of Nightborn was to digitalize their project and develop a web application.
Prior to launching the startup, I have evolved in different positions such as franchisor and sales manager in insurance companies. I currently serve as the CEO of Galea. Our decision-making team consists of two managers, my partner and Co-Founder, Eliott, and myself.
💡You can find more details about Pascal's qualifications, employment history, education, skills, and experience on his👉LinkedIn profile👈.
In 2017, when both of us were working aside, we founded a non-profit association (an ASBL). this allowed us to host Facebook events centered around video games, primarily FIFA. The NPO was a huge hit in Belgium, so we decided to professionalize the idea and build it around a platform that would be accessible to everyone.
We wanted to centralize everything around this platform so that we would no longer be depending on third-party services like Facebook or Challonge, web tools that impose too many constraints on us. Our goal is obviously to strengthen our brand.
We've always fought to give our community the best possible user experience (UX) and the goal was to go through this direction by launching an app, it's part of improving the user experience.
At the moment we are at an early stage with a bêta version, we still have some way to go in order to achieve our full potential but we are confident. Even if for now we have not reached the best UX yet, it’s already more pleasant than when we were tinkering for the gamers ourselves.
Basically, we're not developers at all, we don't code and when we had the ambition to launch a technological platform, we only had two options:
We went through Startup Factory, an incubator that believed in our project and wanted to invest in our startup. Then, after several proposals from other agencies, we got in touch with Nightborn in a natural way, since they are an SF partner. We decided to collaborate with them to build the Galea app.
We liked the proximity: even before entering into formal negotiations we met, exchanged ideas, they also had studied our project in order to have a sketch already elaborated.
💡 Find out more about our services at Nightborn 👉nightborn.be/services👈
We are very happy with the way the relationship with Nightborn is going. They're very transparent with their customers, we're constantly briefed on any delays or misunderstandings that might occur.
When we work with an external agency, we know they have their own economic reality and that they don't think about us day and night, but we have a sufficient level of tolerance. It is inspiring to work with an agency that prioritizes proximity and flexibility.
💡 Find out more about our process at Nightborn 👉nightborn.be/process👈
With a team like theirs, you get the feeling that they are a part of the Galea business, even though they just develop what we ask them to develop. Yet they don't hesitate to challenge us. They are not colleagues, but you can call them at 10 p.m. on Sunday and they will be available.
💡 Meet this team! 💪🏻
We noticed a lot of interesting feedback from point zero to now, but it's still too early to talk about improvement. For us, thanks to this web application, we spend 5 minutes doing what used to take us 2 hours, managing tournaments. It allows us to focus on making progress in order to achieve Galea's final product.
But when it comes to the customer, we have a long-term vision. For the time being, it doesn't change much for the gamers who used the other tools (Facebook, Challonge). Today, the only added value for users is the automation of the platform, which makes it more accessible.
When you first launch an app, you have a utopian vision in your head that it will automatically revolutionize everything without any effort on your part, but this is not the case. In fact, the user doesn't care if you're working on something or if it doesn't have all of the features of another app. So we were worried it wouldn't work out the way we hoped, but it did. The concerns were all about the organizations we'd be dealing with, whether it was Nightborn or another. We were afraid that at some stage, our interests would diverge, such as the agency's economic realities, deadlines, and so on.
We used Spreds to raise funds to cover platform development costs and ensure that we had sufficient liquidity to carry out all of our projects. We wanted to fulfill our ambition of developing a full web application. Our goal is to transform Galea into the reference platform for organizing E-sports tournaments around video games.
We had this idea before Covid-19, but this pandemic has accelerated the digitization of all companies which means we're now facing quite robust competition. In our sector, there were two aspects of gaming: there were offline (physical) and online competitors, but today all the big players in the market who were on the offline side, have switched to the online side.
Our objective for the next five years is to find the pearl that will make us take off! That's our main thought at the moment, to be able to differentiate ourselves from the others on the market given the strong rivalry. 🚀
We want to thank Pascal for making time to answer all of our questions. Into gaming? Feel free to check Galea's website!
💡 More curious? Check out the case study 👉 case study 👈