Metafy raises $3M in Series Seed Funding, Led by Forerunner
Taking a giant step towards the future of work for skilled gamers.
Metafy was started with a straightforward mission: helping incredible players monetize their talent. This mission was driven by both personal experiences and observations of a rapidly growing gaming industry. As a team made up of lifelong competitive players, we’ve witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to make a living in gaming.
When I left Groupon, I tried (and failed) to be a professional gamer. I was top 20 in the world for a year in Clash Royale. I was playing for 8 hours a day. When I lost a game, I’d write down who I lost to and what I could have done differently in a notebook. I’d spend hours streaming daily on Twitch and creating (terrible) Youtube videos.
None of that mattered, I wasn’t making money. Competitive play made me feel alive. I wanted to make a living doing it but it wasn’t working.
I gave up. I went back to tech, tail between my legs.
When my kids fell in love with the Pokemon TCG, I hired one of the best players in the world to coach them. After a few weeks, I asked him if he was playing Pokemon for a living — he was only charging us $20/hr; the numbers didn’t add up.
No, I wish. I make $30k a year working in a warehouse.
That was it — the moment everything clicked into place. The more I talked to incredible players across different games, the more I saw the same pattern emerge. Skilled players struggle to monetize their talent, while entertaining players flourished.
How we’ll use the funds
I know exactly what you’re thinking. With this round of funding we could buy six thousand Playstation 5s. I’ve already pitched that, but nobody loved the idea as much as the US Air Force and I did. I tried, I’m sorry.
Instead, we’ll be using the funds to continue building a platform that enables the best players in the world to make a living doing the thing they love most; playing games. Today, that’s through 1:1 coaching, but we have a few more things coming down the pipeline in a couple months.
We’re particularly mindful of the challenges of turning great players into great teachers, given what we know about how people learn. I’ve wrote a bit more about that here.
We’re empowering gamers with the tools necessary to make a living on their terms. I‘m one of those gamers, so is Tom — I wish this existed when we most needed it.
No doubt, there’s a staggering amount of work ahead of us, and if I’m being honest — we’re so young that we don’t know what we don’t know yet. Securing this funding is the first step of a (hopefully) long journey, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share the journey with so many who want to see this crazy dream become a reality as badly as I do.
We envision a world where, no matter your game, Metafy is where you go to start winning more. In that world, we can do for talented players what the tech industry has done for developers.
If you’d like to come along for the ride, we’re building in public on discord, everyone is welcome.
The people behind the money
Our round was led by Forerunner with participation from M25, Worklife, Entree Capital, Tekton Ventures, OVO Fund, Netshire Technology, and Musha Ventures. We’re also lucky to have a phenomenal set of angel investors who continue to provide guidance, feedback, and support. Those angels include talented operators such as Naval Ravikant (Co-f, former CEO AngelList), Matt Cooper (CEO of Skillshare), Bucky Moore & Bing Gordon (Kleiner Perkins), Alex Kinnier & Wayne Lin (CEO & COO of GetUpside), Darren Lachtman (CEO of Brat), Dan Teran (CEO of Managed by Q), Jerry Nemorin (CEO of LendStreet), Anand Iyer (CEO of Trusted acq. Care), Patrick Carney (CEO of Tribe Gaming), and Andrey Yanyuk (CEO of Tempostorm).*
Those in need of thanks
I’ll end this with high fives to just some of the people that have been seminal in bringing both myself and Metafy to where it is today.
- Jeff: I wouldn’t be writing this if not for you, and the risk you took in putting your name and time behind us. Thanks for being both a mentor and a friend, you’ll get an invite to my villain castle after we IPO in a couple weeks.
- Tom: My co-founder and friend, I really couldn’t do this without you. We’ve been working on different projects together for nearly a decade now. In spite of all that time, I continued to be impressed with how brilliant you are. Thanks for continuing to believe when I had my doubts.
- Wesley (and his wonderful wife!): You’ve been on this ride from day one, and you continue to be a consistent voice of reason when I leap from idea to idea. Your friendship and advice means the world to me. Oh, you also helped prevent me from naming this thing Mimir. Yikes.
- Uri: Nobody can break things quite as well as you can. It’s probably an ancient curse, but I love you for it.
- Dan: My childhood friend, and the greatest salesman I’ve ever met. I can’t think of anyone that could better sell our vision to world class players. I still haven’t forgiven you for beating me in Smash Bros once.
- Edward: Our brilliant front-end developer. I consistently try to make your life hell with complicated designs; you consistently pull off the impossible.
- Andrew: My favorite Australian developer. Don’t tell Tom. Your work in building the internal tools our team uses daily is essential.
- Mela: I’d answer less than half of my emails if not for your verbal abuse. Few people could bring as much order to my chaos.
- Jeff: One of the funniest people I’ve ever been so fortunate to have met. Our competitors wish their Twitter was as cool as you’ve made ours.
- Vishnu: Design is one of the great loves of my life. You’re a better designer than I’ll ever be and I hate the hell out of that. I’m a huge fan of you, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to lead design for us.
- Ann: You’re responsible for some of my favorite content on the internet. I feel incredibly lucky to have you focusing on our social media strategy.
- Brian: You introduced me to the world of startups, taking a risk on a high school drop out with limited experience. I’ve learned more from you than I could ever possibly pay back. I’m glad to call you a friend today.
- Greg: If not for you pushing me to think bigger, we wouldn’t have taken the leap to raise this round in the first place. Your constant optimism is incredible. I’d kill to see the world through your eyes.
- Arman: You’ve been going to bat for me since the day I met you. I don’t look up to many people as much as I do you. Additionally, nobody puts a deal together as smoothly as you do. I’m glad you’re in our corner and not our competitors.
- Ashley: The force of a woman blessed and cursed with my children. You’ve been through hell with me and because of me, thanks for always being there. I wouldn’t be the man I am today if not for you.
- Isaiah, Elijah, Noah & Sloane: My crazy, wonderful kids. You mean more to me than anything else in the world. Thanks for understanding why Dad has to work so much… I love you and I know it isn’t easy having an entrepreneur as a father. I hope my work, and the constant risks I take, inspire you to chase your own passions. No matter how wild or unreasonable they may seem.
*Thank you to all of the angels who invested in Metafy’s seed round: Dan Teran, Timothy Lee, Roger Krakoff, Brady Archambo, Brian Ficho, Kelvin Beachum, Will Allen, Akhil Paul, Anand Iyer, Eric Feng, Tre’ Scott, Brian Shih, Allen Gannett, Jonathan Wasserstrum, and Dana Khater.