National Football League side the San Francisco 49ers, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and sports stars Russell Okong, Baron Davis and Kelvin Beachum can now count themselves among the investors in PlayVS, an esports league for high school students.
San Francisco 49ers part of $15 million funding round for high school esports
PlayVS secured $15 million in investment as part of a Serie A funding round, the company confirmed on Monday.
This was led by Silicon Valley-based New Enterprise Associates. The venture capital firm has previously invested in digital enterprises like Duolingo, BuzzFeed, Groupon and Uber.
While it is still early days for PlayVS, the funding round valued the company at approximately $50 million. Even at that price, there has been no shortage of interest in investment circles. Venture firms like Science, CrossCut Ventures, Coatue Management and Cross Culture Ventures have all backed PlayVS to succeed.
Other notable names to have backed the esports company are Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin, Pindrop Security co-founder Paul Judge and music manager Anthony Saleh.
What is PlayVS?
PlayVS is the official high school esports league in the United States. The company aims to allow students to compete for a state championship, much the same way they would for more traditional sports.
The company announced a partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in April. The deal will see PlayVS develop a scalable program with the school body, which hope will provide opportunities to over 14 million students across the US.
The business has already come up with a decent way to monetise its venture too. This will have undoubtedly appealed to its numerous backers. Schools will be required to pay a monthly fee of $16 for each student that takes part in a PlayVS competition or activity.
Delane Parnell, CEO of PlayVS, said:
“Our exclusive partnership with the NFHS and NFHS Network was the first step toward creating a league system that will impact millions of kids’ lives in an extremely positive way,
“Now, with our Series A, we can take all the steps necessary to ensure that our inaugural season is a massive success while being affordable for schools, parents, and students across the country.”
The inaugural PlayVS season will get underway in October. PlayVS will crown the first esports State Championship in January next year.