Matcherino is an eSports engagement platform based in Seattle that recently raised $1.25 million in seed funding.
The company is creating a platform that promotes streamers and also gives fans the ability to participate in crowdfunding campaigns that fund matches between top players, who can use Matcherino to get paid for their matches and interact with followers. With this, the company makes it possible for fans to fund matches between professional players they want to see.
“When many, many thousands of fans want to see certain professionals battle against each other and are willing to chip in money to make it happen, they need a technology platform to make it as easy as possible,” Matcherino CEO Grant Farwell said in an interview. “That is what we provide.”
The eSports community consists of roughly 200 million viewers and is expected to grow to more than 330 million by 2017. According to games analyst firm NewZoo, the average fan spends more than 20 hours a week watching streamers play and interact with their fan base.
“eSports is growing faster than any other sport in history. It took football roughly 50 years to build out its infrastructure and eSports is poised to accomplish that in a fraction of the time,” said Farwell. “We are excited to work with fans, streamers and brands to create the leading platform for building and managing engaged eSports communities.”
Matcherino’s funding was led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Vulcan Capital and other angel investors.
“eSports is an incredibly dynamic market that has already surpassed the viewership of popular cable channels and is continuing to grow as more gamers and fans join the community,” said Daniel Li from Madrona Venture Group.
“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 Grant and his team as they continue to drive innovation in this new entertainment medium.”
From an in-demand idea to an actual product
Grant Farwell, Matcherino’s CEO, and Mario Gutierrez, Matcherino’s CTO, came up with the idea for the startup when they noticed eSports participants trying to make matches happen between popular game streamers.
“Hundreds of fans wanted to contribute money to make it happen and almost every step of the organizational process was a giant hurdle for the community,” Farwell explained. “We knew that we could fix this problem – and also makes streamers’ lives easier by bringing fans closer to them in a bunch of different ways.”
The company acts as a matchmaker and takes a cut of each prize pool. Additionally, the company also wants to add services that give both expert and beginning streamers a way to manage and grow their audience.
“In the future we will be collaborating with brands that matter to the fans and steamers to create unique and fun experiences for the community,” Farwell added.
At the right place, at the right time
Matcherino is in a very good position for playing a key role in the $3.8 billion video game content market. This new platform helps connect players, fans, brands and streaming platforms such as Twitch or YouTube Gaming.
Additionally, with major broadcasting companies like ESPN, BBC, and Turner joining in with coverage of eSports events, the competitive gaming’s community is growing with each passing day, which only contributes to the startup’s idea of bringing the most desired content to the fan’s screen.