By Evan DeSimone
Esports gambling platform Unikrn announced today that Ashton Kutcher and Gary Oseary’s Sound Ventures has joined its Series A funding round supporting the launch of the company’s new app Unikrn Vault, as well as a new interactive platform Unikrn Arena.
Kutcher and Oseary have previously invested in tech industry start-ups such as Airbnb, FourSquare, Skype, SoundCloud Square, Zenefits and Uber.
Founded by former Microsoft Ventures exec Rahul Sood, Unikrn had already raised $7 million in funding for the Series A, announced on June 30. The addition of the Sound Venture investment brings the company’s valuation to $10 million. The figure includes previous contributions from Jonathan Teo and Justin Caldbeck of Binary Capital, as well as seed funding from Indicator Ventures, Matt Michelsen and Rubicon Venture Capital.
Unikrn is best known for its wagering services, which allow users to be bet on the outcome of competitive gaming matches. The introduction of Unikrn Arena will offer fans more opportunities to interact with esports content. Users can compete in trivia contests and small minigames in order to earn “Unikoin” tokens that can be redeemed for prizes. Fans can also win tokens through “Betting Quests” which require them to place bets on various esports events driving traffic back to Unikrn’s core revenue generator.
Unikrn is betting that streaming gaming content is going to continue to heat up, a seemingly safe assessment given current movement in the space. Gaming and esports have generated huge views for streaming providers like Twitch and Major League Gaming. YouTube recently entered the space with the launch of its YouTube gaming platform, a Twitch competitor designed to deliver live gaming content. With total revenue for esports topping $194 million in 2014 and expected to reach $465 million by 2017 Unikrn is carving out a potentially lucrative niche.