Rap superstar Drake invests in Players' Lounge, joining some of the biggest venture capitalists and angel investors of Silicon Valley.
According to a Thursday post on Medium, the Esports betting start-up has raised a total of $3 million in funding as it partners with Drake and Silicon Valley's Strauss Zelnick, Marissa Mayer, Comcast, Macro Ventures, Canaan, RRE, and Courtside.
The amount that was raised from Drake and other investors will be used to add more titles in its library, expand its development team, offer streaming functionality, and create new competition formats.
"Players' Lounge is a platform where gamers can play their favorite video games against others for prizes," wrote CEO and Co-Founder Austin Woolridge, who started the company with his college soccer teammate Zach Dixon in fall 2014.
Players' Lounge Hosts Hit Games
The company that has been around for five years started as a real-life Esports looking to organize FIFA matches at bars in New York City. Last year, when Players' Lounge joined start-up accelerator company named Y Combinator, it set up a new model aimed to create a gaming online hub.
In the Players' Lounge, gamers battle with each other in a match with money at stake. Today, the company is hosting 350 million gamers over the age of 18. Some of these players who are playing professionally are making lots of money.
Woolridge also said that there are millions of people watching how these professional players make money, and they also try to make their own money on playing video games.
"Players' Lounge is giving this opportunity to everyone," he said.
Players' Lounge hosts hit games such as Fortnite, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Apex Legends. However, it focuses more on sports titles such as NBA 2K19, FIFA 19, and Madden 19.
How To Join The Esports Tournament
In the Players' Lounge, gamers can join in massive 500-player tournaments, one in head-to-head challenges, or simply set a match. The wagers can start as a buck, and it can be raised to higher amounts. The company takes 10 percent of the bets as a fee.
The company said that they have not encountered so many issues with gambling regulations because it is a game of skill, not a chance. There are still several states, however, that do not allow the service.
Woolridge believes they are doing what they love to do and while they do it, they are cultivating a tight-knit community of gamers.