1v1Me is a new startup that is a marketplace of sorts for gamers who want to bet money to challenge each other and was covered recently in TechCrunch. Yup, this app formalizes the age-old tradition in video games of who can get the high score.
The services the company provides are twofold: it connects players to each other by allowing for the exchange of contact information on a PlayStation or Xbox; and the company takes the bank account information of each competitor, links their bank accounts and monitors the game on Twitch to determine the winner. No cheating allowed.
Helping gamers make money
“When I worked at YouTube, I met many gaming creators that desired to entertain their fans and hone their skills, but it can be a struggle to make significant money along the way,” said Albert Cheng, Co-lead of Socially Financed and Director of Product at Duolingo.
Anthony Geranio is a first time founder of 1v1Me along with Alex Emmanuel. After stints at mission driven tech companies in the Valley, he still was unsatisfied with his career trajectory, so he decided to join OnDeck and then took the plunge into startups with 1v1Me.
Knocking on investors’ doors worked
After OnDeck, Geranio spread the word about his gaming venture and secured a $2 million financing from an impressive group of investors including: On Deck, Erik Torenberg at Village Global, Turner Novak at GeltVC, Niv Dror at Shrug, SterlingVC, Ali Hamed at Crossbeam, Cody Hock and Cole Hock from UpNorth, Lightshed Ventures and BettorCapital.
Angel investors in the round included Justin Waldron, Brud founder Trevor McFedries, Ian Borthwick, Albert Cheng, Stephen Sikes and Anthony Pompliano. And the rolling fund of Austin Rief, one of the founders of noted newsletter Morning Brew, was also an investor in the deal, according to Rief’s Twitter feed.
At the end of the day, as Geranio puts it, the company is built on the concept of using betting on who can win as the engagement tool to grow the company’s user base.
Sounds like a winning bet.