In a recent development, Oslo-based PortalOne, a hybrid games platform, has raised $15M (approx €12.4M) in an oversubscribed Seed round of funding.
Bård Anders Kasin, CEO & co-founder of PortalOne, says, “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.”
Investors in this round
This round’s funding saw participation from US investors such as Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund; 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.
European investors also participated in this round, including Seedcamp, Talis Capital, and SNÖ Ventures.
In addition, a number of angel investors also invested in PortalOne. These include 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 including Atari and ARRI also took part in this Seed round.
Founded in 2018, PortalOne claims to be the world’s first hybrid games platform. The platform launched a new category of entertainment that 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.
Besides, PortalOne is also building its own proprietary technology to enable third-party creators to create content on its platform.
Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch – a live video streaming service provider, believes, “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.”
Partnership with Atari and ARRI
The company has already secured exclusive global distribution rights for seven years with Atari – a video game company that manages a portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises. With this distribution, PortalOne will see Atari’s most popular arcade games “super-sized” brought onto the platform.
It has also entered into a strategic partnership with ARRI, a company that deals in camera and lighting technology. PortalOne opened its beta in June 2020 and aims to fully launch in the US later this year.
A brief about PortalOne’s founders
The company was co-founded by brothers Stig Olav Kasin and Bård Anders Kasin.
Kasin is the CEO of PortalOne, and has previous experience working as a Technical Director at Warner Bros. There he worked on movie productions like the Matrix Trilogy. He also co-founded The Future Group, which provides mixed reality solutions for media production.
As for Stig Olav, he is the CXO at PortalOne. Olav has previously worked as a 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.