Unikrn (#unikrn), a gaming (#gaming) and eSports (#esports) company, today announced it has raised an additional $7 million from an all-star group of investors led by Jonathan Teo and Justin Caldbeck of Binary Capital, who are known for early investing in companies such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Whisper, Taskrabbit and more. Unikrn was co-founded by Rahul Sood, creator of VoodooPC, the world’s first gaming PC. With the funding, Unikrn will further the development of its revolutionary eSports platform, Unikrn.com, which offers safe and legal wagering on competitive video games matches and tournaments around the world.
With a total of $10 million raised, this latest round of funding sees Binary Capital joining forces with Mark Cuban, Advancit Capital, Freelands Group, 500 Startups, Indicator Ventures, Tabcorp, and other high profile investors. This further validates Unikrn’s push in the growing popularity of the eSports industry. According to ESPN, 27 million people tuned in to watch the 2014 finals of the League of Legends World Championship – that’s more than watched the final game of the World Series (23.5 million) or the NBA Finals (18 million). The global audience on Twitch.com saw 16 billion minutes of live gaming streams watched per month last year on average, with the number growing rapidly month over month.
“Working with Jonathan and his team has been an experience to say the least. They have helped us pivot at the beginning, and they always refer to us as ‘we’ even before they pulled the trigger. They’re an incredible partner with vast consumer branding and eSports experience, ” said Rahul Sood, CEO and co-founder, Unikrn. “And, with the help of our other amazing investors, our vision of bringing safe and legal wagering on eSports to consumers around the world is now well within our grasp.”
“Millions of people watch competitive gaming globally, we believe the industry has hit an inflection point and this is just the tip of the iceberg for where this new sport can go,” said Jonathan Teo, Binary Capital. “We fully believe in the Unikrn executive team, what they are building, and their vision of how they want to heighten people’s engagement with eSports across all mediums.”
“Hundreds of companies every year try to get me to invest, whether on Shark Tank or off camera. However, I only put my money and my name on the companies that I feel will be successful, truly advance an industry and have a leadership team that I respect. Unikrn fits all these requirements,” said Mark Cuban. “The rapid growth of eSports has created an entire new category of competition and I am proud to partner with Rahul Sood and his team to help bring eSports to an even greater audience. As a sports fanatic and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, I’m excited to be involved with a new sport just as it’s poised for huge growth.”
Unikrn will continue to raise the level of engagement and heighten the experience for those interested in eSports. With industry experts predicting that eSports could match the NFL in number of fans by 2017, Unikrn is poised to continue its impressive growth in the years to come. Unikrn will release the much anticipated new version of Unikrn Arena in the first few weeks of July.