Making board games as intuitive as video games: ePawn raises € 1 million

Board games are fun because you can interact with objects, but video games are more immersive, because there’s less hassle with rules (and when you’re crushing your opponent, he can’t wipe the board clean in a fit of rage).

ePawn is a French startup that has been working since 2010 to bring the best of those worlds together with their patented touchscreen technology that recognises chess pieces and other figurines used in board games. It also keeps track of the rules for you.

ePawn was founded in 2010 by Christophe Duteil and Valentin Lefèvre. “We want to revolutionise the gaming industry by developing video toys,” says CEO Christophe Duteil, “the goal is to create real objects with videogame-like natural and immersive interfaces.”

ePawn licenses its technology to major players in the board game market, video games manufacturers and consumers.

Today, the company announced that it raised € 1 million. The money is necessary to finance a marketing and sales push that should put ePawn on the map after two years of working on R&D. “We want to become a fixture in the gaming world, but also in the world of the internet of things,” said Duteil.

According to RudeBaguette, the investment represents “the second investment for Elaia Partners using their new €45 Million seed fund, after a €2.5M investment in Mirakl just three weeks ago, which they raised at the end of October”.

Elaia has been very active in the French startup scene, writes RudeBaguette’s Liam Boogar, and they’ve invested in a number of top tier startups like Criteo, Sigfox (which we wrote about recently), Ykone and Allmyaps.

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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