eSports Crowdfunding Platform Matcherino Raises $1.5M

ESPORTS CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM MATCHERINO RAISES $1.5M

Matcherino Raises $1.5M (Photo: Matcherino)

Matcherino Raises $1.5M (Photo: Matcherino)

TNL Take: California has been the center of innovation in both technology, Silicon Valley, and Gaming/eSports with over half the US industry based in that state.

Recently Seattle has seen it's own emergence of eSports startups: Unikrn - which is doing the first eSports ICO, Hubtag, Innervate and Beam, which was acquired by little local company Microsoft.

TNL eSports Startups 011: Matcherino Raises $1.5M (Graphic: The Next Level)

TNL eSports Startups 011: Matcherino Raises $1.5M (Graphic: The Next Level)

Last week another Seattle based eSports startup Matcherino raised $1.5M from previous investors Madrona Venture Group, Vulcun Capital and other angels.

Want another NBA eSports connection? Vulcun Capital is the investment arm of Vulcun Inc., run by ex-Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the owner of the Portland Trailblazers.

Matcherino is very simple way to crowdfund a prize pool between players, teams or events for a multitude of games.

List of Matcherino Supported Games (Photo: Matcherino)

List of Matcherino Supported Games (Photo: Matcherino)

Matcherino users simply login via Twitch, use PayPal as the transaction platform and the money goes directly to the prize pool.

Matcherino's Crowdfunding Platform (Photo: Matcherino)

Matcherino's Crowdfunding Platform (Photo: Matcherino)

Matcherino Crowdfunded Events (Photo: Matcherino)

Matcherino Crowdfunded Events (Photo: Matcherino)

Matcherino provides 2 additional benefits:

  • Users who donate accrue points towards rewards redeemable for goods which are mostly T-shirts currently
  • As Matcherino CEO Grant Farwell said: "Before us, the prize pools were being completely mismanaged by event organizers, who are often young due to the nature of the industry and don’t handle money well" [Note: That was not said by me. Don't @ me]

Matcherino also offers Sponsored rewards like Soylent, who also happen to invest in eSports.

Matcherino Sponsored Soylent Reward (Photo: Matcherino)

Matcherino Sponsored Soylent Reward (Photo: Matcherino)

By essentially just providing a connection layer and taking a % of each transaction and some sponsorship revenue, Matcherino could work.

 

However the biggest challenge is lack of defensibility: Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook could easily replicate this.

 

Let's see which platform copies this the quickest if the monetization opportunity is there.

AEG Makes Second eSports Investment With Immortals

AEG MAKES SECOND ESPORTS INVESTMENT WITH IMMORTALS

AEG Invests In eSports Team Immortals (Graphic: The Next Level)

AEG Invests In eSports Team Immortals (Graphic: The Next Level)

TNL Take: For eSports owners with decent teams, popular fan following but more importantly - being business savvy - it's like mid-1800's California gold rush or mid-1980's Los Angeles crack era: the money is pouring in.

eSports team Immortals raised another round, this time from massive sports and entertainment conglomerate AEG. Immortals were also one of the first teams to receive investment related to the NBA with Memphis Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan back in November 2015:

TNL Infographic 027: NBA Investment In eSports (Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

TNL Infographic 027: NBA Investment In eSports (Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

This investment makes sense for a number of reasons:

  • AEG is based in Los Angeles just like Immortals
  • Immortals already has an impressive investor list including Lionsgate, Crosscut Ventures, Michael Milken, Machine Shop Ventures, March Capital Partners, Kaplan and others
  • Immortals will play their events at LA Live, an AEG venue
  • The music, entertainment, and content production opportunity

 

This is also the second investment within eSports, having first signed a long-term partnership with ESL to host their events at AEG's locations including Barclay's Center, Oracle Arena and London's O2 Arena; which all have held eSports events previously.

 

While the round was undisclosed, you know I'm going to take a stab anyway: I'd venture that it was at least $10M+ - more on why that amount when we get to the recent Overwatch League "news" Soon™