eSports engagement platform Matcherino has announced a $1.25m funding round led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Vulcan Capital and angels.
Matcherino is an eSports platform that promotes the streams of participants while giving fans the chance to discover and fund matches they want to see.
The company is the latest to jump on the eSports bandwagon, which already has a global audience which number sin the hundreds of millions. Matcherino says that the average fan spends more than 20 hours a week watching streams of games online.
The company was founded by chief executive Grant Farwell and chief technology officer Mario Gutierrez. They are both avid gamers and believes that eSports is growing faster than any other sport in history.
Said Farwell: “It took (NFL football) roughly 50 years to build out its infrastructure and eSports is poised to accomplish that in a fraction of the time,”
With the new money, Matcherino has now raised $1.4m in total. The company participated in a TechStars event in Seattle and received support in this round from Madrona Venture Group. Partner at that group Daniel Li said his company was excited by the potential of eSports and suggested the viewership via channels such as YouTube and Twitch was already surpassing that of many popular US cable TV channels.
“eSports is an incredibly dynamic market and is continuing to grow as more gamers and fans join the community,” said Li. “It is clear that we are at the genesis of a new medium characterized by live, interactive, user-generated content. This can be complex to manage and Matcherino is building the tools and platform that will simplify eSports streamers’ lives and bring their fans closer to the action. We are looking forward to working with Matcherino as they continue to drive innovation in this new entertainment medium.”
Matcherino enables fans to crowdfund matches between their favorite streamers. It is then up to the players to decide which ‘show matches’ they’d like to compete in. Since launching in 2015, fans have raised prize pools nearing $1,000, with some spending hundreds of dollars on a single match.
Madrona has been investing in early-stage technology companies primarily in the northwest of the US since 1995. The firm manages nearly $1.3bn and invests predominantly in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum, including digital media and advertising, cloud computing, data analytics, and mobile.