PortalOne raises $15M seed from Atari, Founders Fund, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and others for its hybrid gaming/TV show app, coming out of closed beta soon (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)

portalone 15m founders twitch kevin lin

Gaming and streamed video have been two of the biggest pastime winners during the last year+ of pandemic living. Today a startup that has created an app that brings those two entertainment formats together is announcing a notable seed round of funding as it prepares to come out of closed beta.

PortalOne, a hybrid gaming startup, is announcing a $15 million seed round of funding as it prepares to come out of closed beta with an app that lets people play on-demand games and also watch live shows in which users can play against a special guest.

The startup and its funding are notable in part because of who is doing the investing.

It includes Atari and camera maker ARRI, Founders Fund, TQ Ventures (the firm led by Scooter Braun and financiers Schuster Tanger and Andrew Marks), Coatue Management (specifically Arielle Zuckerberg), Rogue Capital Partners (Alice Lloyd George’s new fund), Signia Venture Partners (via Sunny Dhillon), Seedcamp, Talis Capital and SNÖ Ventures out of Europe.

Other investors included Kevin Lin, the 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 is part tech startup and part media company. On the one hand, it has spent the last three years building a full stack of hardware and software that can be used to build games, record live shows and integrate the two into an experience that blends both on-demand and real-time gaming and entertainment.

“One of the benefits of building first is that what we are doing is extremely hard to do on a technical level,” said co-founder and CEO Bård Anders Kasin. “The way we do it is the key. It is our secret sauce.”

On the other, it is using that tech to create a gaming and live events platform and brand — providing a place for itself and third parties to build games and bigger live experiences around them. It believes that it’s managed to do something here that has eluded others for years.

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