Social competitive gaming startup Players' Lounge has announced it has raised $3 million in funding for its buy-in, low-stakes tournament platform.
VentureBeat reports that investors include Drake, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Comcast, Macro Ventures, Canaaan, RRE, and Courtside.
Players' Lounge was launched in 2016 and currently runs as a gaming competition platform where users can sign up for free, then participate in various game competitions by paying an entry fee. The winner is rewarded with the entry fee pool. Fortnite competitions are also played, with two-player squads competing against one another to score the most kills in a match while on the same Duo team.
Because it is a skill-based competition, Players' Lounge is legal under most US gambling laws, though Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana have banned participation.
Founder Austin Woolridge says the idea for the platform came as a solution to an issue he and fellow co-founder Zach Dixon saw: competitive gamers wanted to play against one another, but didn't yet have the skills or means to go pro.
"Now, anyone - from college students to 9-5 office workers - can make money playing video games," he said. "We match users up against others within the same skill range, so players should never feel uncomfortably outmatched. Players are over 18 years old."