Metafy, a startup that operates a marketplace for video game coaching, announced this morning that it has closed a $25 million Series A round. Tiger Global and Seven Seven Six led the funding round.
This post last covered Metafy in May 2021, when the company raised a $5.5 million extension for its previous funding round of $3.15 million.
Since that funding event, Metafy has acquired rival gaming coaching platform GamersRdy, and the company says coaches using its service have brought in more than $1 million last year. Metafy does not take a share of revenue from coaches when they use its platform; it charges students a 5% fee.
Framed activities on the platform include well-known video game titles and things as far removed from Starcraft as poker and sports betting.
Metafy is a bet that the gaming market will continue to grow, retain its cultural cachet, and that popular titles in the niche will maintain high skill requirements – fodder for coaching demand. With video games becoming more complex over time and recent game studio acquisitions announced by platform technology companies, the bet seems to have some supporting evidence.
TechCrunch caught up with Metafy co-founder and CEO Josh Fabian to discuss the round, which he described as an early event for his company.
According to Fabian, his company had about half of the money it had previously raised in the bank when it built up its Series A. Why raise before it was a cash requirement? Fabian said changing market conditions had prompted him to secure capital ahead of what could become a “winter” of investing.
TechCrunch has noted a rapid decline in the value of publicly traded tech companies and studied the impact these devaluations could have on startup investments and valuations.
The way the round unfolded illustrates the high-paced fundraising environment of 2021. Fabian said his first two fundraising events were “stressful and time-consuming.” Metafy’s Series A was different, he said. After speaking to what the CEO described as “household names” in the business community, Forerunner Ventures introduced him to Tiger Global, who ran a quick and thorough vet of his company. This included diligence in individuals from Fabian’s past, seven coaches on the Metafy platform and more. And it was a quick process to get started.
Fabian, rare in his candor among the cohort of startup CEOs, said a quick term sheet from Tiger led his company to let other investors he spoke to know that Metafy had a deal he was going to take. . Then, Fabian said, more condition sheets came. So, it seems that Tiger’s fast trading still leaves traditional venture capitalists in a rush mode.
Metafy intends to use its new capital for hiring, of course, and other acquisitions. He has also earmarked $1 million towards a fund that he will invest over the next 18-24 months in competitive tournaments and other gaming community events.
When TechCrunch covered Metafy’s second funding round, the company had gone from spending $76,000 monthly on the platform in April 2021 to $190,000 in September last year, up 52% from to the previous month. We’ll be curious to see how quickly the startup can scale its GMV platform this year and whether it can maintain the double-digit month-over-month expansion rates it has historically achieved.