Web sports player Powers up


A growing developer of Web-based 3-D sports games is set to announce today venture funding to facilitate the rollout of additional titles and expansion of its global infrastructure.

Power Challenge allows users to create dedicated communities of fans playing together in a virtual world and to create their own soccer teams while developing individual skill levels. Benchmark Capital will invest $8 million in Power Challenge AB, developer and publisher of the game.

Founded in 2004 by Internet entrepreneur Johan Christenson, the London-based company this year merged with Sweden-based ManagerZone, another developer in the online gaming market.

"By taking full advantage of the action and management aspects of sports, our games have become the ultimate destination for sports and game fans alike," said Christenson, who serves as Power Challenge chief executive. "With Benchmark on board, we gain both the network and resources we need to be a leading player in the Web-based sports world."

Benchmark Capital Israel general partner Elie Wurtman said Power Challenge "will attract a new general of consumers to the world of online gaming."

Benchmark Capital Europe general partner Johan Brenner said the gaming company has the "foundation for great success."

Power Challenge maintains development studios in Karlskrona and Linkoping in Sweden and soon will open offices in Stockholm and New York, officials said.