NEWS: Fin-Tech App for Gamers Blasts Off Today, Powered by $7 Million More in Seed Funding
A fin-tech startup for gamers officially blasted off today, with $7 million more in seed funding, including an investment from personal growth entrepreneur Tony Robbins.
The e-sports industry is expected to hit $2.5 billion by 2020.
This company, with HQ in Newport Beach, was developed by Walter Cruttenden, one of the founders of the Acorns saving and investment app. (The other founder was his son Jeff.) Acorns, with HQ in Irvine, enables people to save and invest in small increments, with high frequency.
Blast launched its app officially today after a private beta. It enables gamers to “micro-save” and “micro-earn” money by playing their favorite games, like Candy Crush and Arena of Valor.
The additional $7 million will be used to accelerate the company’s growth via marketing efforts.
See related story on Blast’s original $5 million seed raise here.
See a Q&A with Walter Cruttenden here.
The app is now available for Android games, as well as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on the Steam marketplace. More PC games and an iOS app expected to be released soon.
New investors include personal growth entrepreneur Tony Robbins, who also invested in e-sports team, Team Liquid, in the Netherlands. His investment amount has not been disclosed.
“Following my aXiomatic investments in esports, such as Team Liquid and Super League Gaming, I’m committed to pursuing growth opportunities across the gaming spectrum,” Robbins said in a press release issued by Blast today. “I believe Walter and his talented team are introducing a unique formula that combines savings with fun that will level-up gamers around the world!”
aXiomatic, with HQ in L.A., is building a portfolio of holdings in the e-sports and video gaming industries through strategic partnerships, investments and acquisitions.
And, Zynga, Pocket Gems, and Disruptor Beam signed on as partners to create customized ways for players to micro-earn and save money. The financial terms of these partnerships have not been disclosed.
Blast previously raised $5 million from investors including the Forbes and Roth families, Core Innovation Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Snowmass Private Equity and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
How It Works
To get started, users download the Blast app, create an account and link their checking account to their Blast wallet.
Savings are enhanced in three ways: interest paid on balances, dividends from missions, and weekly leaderboard payouts.
Gamers can decide how much they want to save, based on simple time triggers or more complex achievement triggers.
Blast’s goal is to make savings “so exciting and rewarding that more and more people will be encouraged to start saving early and come to appreciate the power of incremental micro-income,” according to the release.
The app works in the background of millions of games so sessions aren’t interrupted.
Blast said it will continue to add support for additional PC games on Steam. And, the company has started a wait list for games on iOS, which is expected to launch this Fall.
Blast has a team of 32 designers, engineers and research personnel.