Esports One Raises $4M Amid Pandemic-fueled Gaming Boom

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Esports One Raises $4M Amid Pandemic-fueled Gaming Boom
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Esports One, the Los Angeles-based fantasy sports platform, announced Friday it raised $4 million with plans to launch new leagues around hit titles like Fortnite and Rocket League.

The three-year-old, venture-backed company secured $3.8 million in May and originally only supported competitive gaming around L.A.-based Riot Game's "League of Legends" franchise, but CEO and co-founder Matt Gunnin has ambitions of making fantasy sports accessible to a larger audience.


"We're doing that by introducing new ways for users to win money to win prizes," he said. "Where we're really starting to innovate is when it comes to an entirely new category of fantasy called real-time."

That feature lets users adjust their lineups and make predictions while watching games — making the experience of watching esports competitive, Gunnin said. It's currently available on desktop and mobile sites but the startup said it plans to build an app soon.

The company reported a bump in users by 25% month-over-month, which Gunnin attributes both to an uptick in gaming during COVID and to the company's new integrated feature with Discord, a kind of Slack for gamers.

Gunnin said the funding will allow Esports One to add five or six new game titles.

"The pandemic has put more eyeballs to esports, especially people that are new to the industry," Gunnin said. "We want to provide fantasy for everything from professional esports events to high school events."

The round was led by XSeed Capital, Eniac Ventures and Chestnut Street Ventures.

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Faraday Future Reveals Only 401 Pre-Orders For Its First Electric Car

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Faraday Future Reveals Only 401 Pre-Orders For Its First Electric Car
Courtesy of Faraday Future

Electric vehicle hopeful Faraday Future has had no shortage of drama—from alleged securities law violations to boardroom shake-ups—on its long and circuitous path to actually producing a car. And though the Gardena-based company looked to have turned a corner by recently announcing plans to launch its first vehicle later this year, Faraday’s quarterly earnings report this week revealed that demand for that car has underwhelmed—to say the least.

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David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Meet CropSafe, the Agtech Startup Helping Farmers Monitor Their Fields
Courtesy of CropSafe.

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Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Maureen Klewicki
Image courtesy of Maureen Klewicki

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Cedars Sinai Health Ventures’ Maureen Klewicki talks about price transparency for health care, the labor shortage crisis and emerging payment models.

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