Video game wagering startup PLLAY secures $3m seed round to accelerate growth
PLLAY, a skill-based video game wagering platform, has closed a $3 million seed funding round led by Screen Play Ventures. Other investors in this round include NBA All-Star Bradley Beal, Managing Director of Obsidian Works and Hollywood insider Chad Easterling, and Russell Stokes, President and CEO of GE Power Portfolio. The capital will go toward further enhancing the user experience, expanding technology development, building out the PLLAY team, and accelerating user acquisition.
James McGuckin, Partner, Screen Play Ventures: "The gaming industry is exploding right now, but PLLAY is like nothing I've ever seen. This sophisticated platform brings an added level of excitement to everyday competition while fixing some of the core problems inherent to video game wagering."
A peer-to-peer wagering platform, PLLAY lets users take their love of gaming to the next level by putting actual skin in the game. With PLLAY's mobile-first application, players 18 years of age or older can square off in a competitive video game and place a wager on the action, with the winner taking home 100% of the prize money.
Shawn Gunn, Co-founder and CEO, PLLAY: "Wagering in video games is not new, but before PLLAY it's always come with some risk. There was no match oversight, no real-time data monitoring, and no guarantees you'd even get paid. We're legitimizing the entire process, making those concerns a thing of the past, so gamers can focus on the competition at hand."
Christine Krzyzanowski, Co-founder, CMO, PLLAY: "We understand this community because we are this community. There are over 800 million 'casual gamers' worldwide. Yet for many, gaming isn't just a hobby – it's a lifestyle. We understand that they want to be the best in that moment while gaming and also be entertained and rewarded for their win - or even their loss."
Beal has been searching for ways to expand his talents to the tech game, and he connected to PLLAY right away. He says: "I'm a gamer, both on and off the court, so it felt like the right fit. But I'm not just investing in a product; I'm investing in people. I believe in supporting minority- and women-owned businesses, and Shawn and Christine have built more than a gaming platform, they've built a diverse and creative culture at PLLAY that fuels their vision."
Beal isn't the only all-star here. PLLAY's artificial intelligence (AI) enables a better way to wager. PLLAY's AI-driven platform removes the typical friction points associated with skill-based gaming: slow (or even no) payout methods, cheating, winner verification, and underage gambling. Through real-time monitoring of live streams with computer-vision, PLLAY's platform acts as a virtual referee, certifying wins and losses and creating a safe environment for gamers to wager with confidence, while removing any concerns they won't get paid.
PLLAY offers head-to-head (H2H) match experiences with plans for tournament features, giving competitive gamers more action as well as the chance to win real money and prizes from major brands. Currently, players can wager on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Madden 21, FIFA 21, NBA 2K21, and Fortnite across both Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Compatibility with more titles will be announced soon. To continue accelerating its growth, PLLAY is also launching a campaign on MicroVentures, an online equity-based crowdfunding platform that connects investors with early-stage companies.