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PortalOne raises $15m in seed funding raise to launch the world’s first hybrid games platform!

News | 28 April, 2021

Read more on TechCrunch.

Today, PortalOne – the world’s first hybrid games platform – announces it has raised $15m in an oversubscribed total seed funding round. The round included European VCs Seedcamp, SNÖ Ventures and Talis Capital, as well as U.S. investors like Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and TQ Ventures, the investment fund led by Scooter Braun, Schuster Tanger and Andrew Marks. Coatue Management’s investment was led by Arielle Zuckerberg and the Rogue Capital Partners investment was led by Alice Lloyd George. Sunny Dhillon led the investment from Signia Venture Partners, whose LPs include Warner Bros., Disney and Tencent.

The round also saw participation from a number of angel investors, including Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch; Mike Morhaime, co-founder of Blizzard and Dreamhaven; Amy Morhaime, co-founder of Dreamhaven; Marc Merrill, co-founder of Riot Games; Xen Lategan, former CTO and executive advisor at various companies such as Hulu, and Eugene Wei, former Head of Video at Oculus and Head of Product at Hulu. PortalOne’s strategic partners Atari and ARRI also participated.

Founded in 2018, PortalOne is the world’s first hybrid games platform, launching a whole new category of entertainment that seamlessly mixes games with live shows that are embedded directly inside the games. The first format on the platform is PortalOne Arcade, a retro-inspired universe that immerses the show’s guests inside original PortalOne games, as well as contemporary and “super-sized” classic games that enable users to compete directly against these guests right from their mobile phones. Delivering something that blends the optimistic, magical feel of the 1980’s with modern and futuristic elements that inspire visions of virtual worlds to come. PortalOne is also building its own proprietary technology to enable third-party creators to create content on the PortalOne platform.

The company has already secured exclusive global distribution rights for seven years with Atari, which will see Atari’s most popular arcade games “super-sized” and brought onto the platform. It has also entered into a strategic partnership with ARRI, the global market leader in camera and lighting technology.

PortalOne opened its beta in June 2020 and aims to fully launch in the US later this year.

PortalOne was co-founded by brothers Stig Olav Kasin and Bård Anders Kasin. Bård is the CEO of PortalOne, having previously worked as a Technical Director at Warner Bros. where he worked on revolutionary movie productions like the Matrix Trilogy. He also previously co-founded The Future Group, which provides mixed reality solutions for media production. Stig Olav is the CXO at PortalOne, having previously worked as an award-winning developer and executive producer of interactive entertainment and mobile games. His background as television executive includes leading roles for shows like The Voice and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

The PortalOne platform is now possible as a result of advanced gaming infrastructure developed in the last few years, combined with PortalOne’s ground-breaking interactive technologies that the founding team has poured 20+ years of development experience into.

Bård Anders Kasin, CEO and Co-founder of PortalOne, said: “We are incredibly fortunate to have been joined by a number of true icons and visionaries who immediately grasped the unique potential of PortalOne. To get such strong backing from so many industry innovators at such an early stage of this journey is something you can only dream of. All of our investors bring tremendous value to the table and we are grateful for all of their support.”

Kirill Tasilov, Principal at Talis Capital, said: “Massive opportunities continue to emerge in the interactive entertainment space as distribution and business models evolve. PortalOne is redefining mobile by unlocking new hybrid experiences at the intersection of games and video, and we are thrilled to be a part of their journey.”

Scooter Braun, Co-founder of TQ Ventures, said: “As PortalOne continues to grow, it is seamlessly integrating the gaming and entertainment worlds to create a single interactive experience and endless opportunities for content creation. Creators and performers alike want new and innovative ways to bring their craft to life, and PortalOne is meeting that demand in a way that no other business has done. I’m excited to work with the entire team to realize their trailblazing vision. I have never seen anything like this before.”

Kevin Lin, Co-founder of Twitch, said: “The next big social platform will likely be a convergence of media with gaming at its core – a truly new immersive interactive experience – and PortalOne is a major contender for becoming such a platform.”

Sunny Dhillon, Partner at Signia Venture Partners, said: “When we see virtual concerts inside of TikTok, Roblox, and Fortnite, it’s great but PortalOne offers an evolution of interactive metaverse entertainment – true real-time, one-to-many interaction between gamers around the world, all in a mobile-native hybrid game format. We’re thrilled to partner with Bård Anders and Stig Olav on this journey.”

Delian Asparouhov, Principal at Founders Fund, said: “We back companies that we believe have strong potential to become global category leaders. PortalOne creates a new category and simultaneously the platform that is clearly set to dominate that new category. The market is ripe, the opportunity is clear, and the potential is unlimited. PortalOne is poised to create a before and after in the industry.”

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