Delane Parnell and PlayVS score $35.5M in series B funding to level-up high school E-Sports
PlayVS, a startup building the infrastructure and official platform for high school esports, has closed on a $30.5 million Series B. The round comes just five months after the Los Angeles company’s $15.5M Series A funding, bringing its total raised to $46 million. Elysian Park Ventures, the private investment arm of the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group, led the round, which also included participation from existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Science Inc., Crosscut Ventures, Coatue Management, and WndrCo. A bevy of new investors also contributed to the financing, including Adidas (marking the company’s first esports investment), Samsung NEXT, and Plexo Capital, among others.
PlayVS has also announced new game partnerships with Psyonix and Hi-Rez Studios, publishers of Rocket League and SMITE respectively, joining League of Legends by Riot for PlayVS’ Inaugural Season that starts in February 2019.
The 14-person company said it is also expanding its markets from five (Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island) to eight to include high schools in Alabama, Mississippi, and parts of Texas.
PlayVS Founder and CEO Delane Parnell told Crunchbase News that PlayVS also plans to use the new funding to scale and fuel the company by hiring leadership in different areas, testing various acquisition strategies and investing in player experiences that are core to esports, such as live events.