Programmers looking to experiment or get better at the tools and technology that they use for their day jobs are turning to a competitive game called “Battlesnake” — made by a company of the same name — to earn bragging rights among a community of coders. Now Battlesnake is turning to Seattle investors for new funding to help the startup expand its reach.
Madrona Venture Group led a $1.5 million round for Victoria, B.C.-based Battlesnake, the company announced Wednesday. Liquid 2, Ascend, 200 OK, and angel investors including Jason Warner (former CTO of GitHub) and Chris Aniszczyk (CTO of Linux Foundation) also participated.
Battlesnake originated in the Pacific Northwest as a developer recruiting event in 2015, and by 2019 the flagship Battlesnake Tournament in Victoria drew 1,200 developers and another 1,000 spectators intrigued by the e-sports-like drama of watching competitors compete with their coded snakes.
Co-founder and CEO Brad Van Vugt told GeekWire that “Battlesnake” sits at a “weird intersection between gaming and programming.” At its core, it’s a game that experienced programmers use to explore new ideas and new algorithms and new technologies.