Wicked Saints — co-founded and led by Jessica Murrey — is on a mission to disrupt the gaming market.
After a decade of working with Nobel Peace Prize-nominated organization Search for Common Ground, Murrey co-founded Wicked Saints alongside Alicia Clifton.
According to TechCrunch, the goal of the platform is to engage young activists through interactive story games.
“American teens care very deeply about the planet, equality and mental health, but the problems often feel so big it’s paralyzing,” Murrey explained to TechCrunch. “We wanted to activate them to take whatever the world throws at them, and the best way to do that was with games.”
With the raise of a $3.5 million seed funding round, Wicked Saints will be supported in new developments, which include the launch of its first mobile game, “World Reborn.”
Wicked Saints, which participated in Niantic’s incubator for Black game creators, Black Developers Initiative, received the funding through a seed round led by Riot Games and Oregon Venture Fund. Other investors include BRONZE, 1Up Ventures, Precursor Ventures, Authentic Ventures, Origins, The Mini Fund, Cap Table Coalition, Gaingels, and Rogue Women’s Fund, per a press release.
“We raised $3.5M in an oversubscribed seed round co-led by Riot Games and Oregon Venture Fund,” Murrey wrote on LinkedIn. “This first round will go to bringing our first title to market, launching a new genre of mobile games that bridges in-game mastery to real-life skills.”
She added, “We’re ready to empower, inspire and create change among our youth.”
“The gaming industry is only 2% Black. It made raising that much harder as well, because investors tend to invest in what they know,” Murrey shared, per TechCrunch. “I didn’t look anything like the game founders that they’re used to seeing. Not only did I have to overcome preconceived notions of what a game is and what a game can do, but I had to first jump the hurdle of preconceived notions of myself and what I would be able to accomplish with my background.”
In total, Wicked Saints has secured $4.6 million in funding, the outlet mentions.