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.

TNL eSports Startups 007: Rumblemonkey Rolls Out Real Money Platform

TNL ESPORTS STARTUPS 007: Rumblemonkey

TNL eSports Startups 007: Rumblemonkey (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL Take: Rumblemonkey recently came out of stealth at PAX West for their Head-to-Head real money eSports platform. Rumblemonkey has raised an undisclosed amount of Angel funding.

Rumblemonkey Real Money Platform (Photo: Rumblemonkey)

At PAX West, Rumblemonkey debuted a Hearthstone 1v1 game for real money with proceeds benefiting charity.

Rumblemonkey at PAX West (Photo: Rumblemonkey)

Real money "platforms" for eSports are not unique and there are plenty of other startups in the space.

Founder and CEO Jacob Rapaport did tell me an interesting tidbit. Rumblemonkey offered both a $5 and $100 option to play.  Rappaport said they saw a "significant" portion of the audience choosing the $100 option with Rumblemonkey's Twitter announcing $1,000 generated in a single day.

Outside of the usual Skill Based Gaming vs. Gambling conversation that inevitably comes up, is the standard issue of building a product on someone else's IP:

 

You ultimately need Publisher support.