Video gaming might well qualify as the world’s favorite pastime. Experts project that global gaming revenues will surpass $235 billion in 2022 and $321 billion by 2026. So it’s not at all surprising that avid gamers, like any devoted hobbyist, are willing to spend money to improve their skills.
Enter Metafy, a marketplace where aficionados can book one-on-one coaching sessions from champion-level gamers. By the end of 2021, the startup — founded in 2020 — had raised more than $8 million and acquired rival games-coaching platform GamersRdy. Then, in early 2022, Metafy closed a $25 million Series A round — led by Tiger Global and Seven Seven Six.
That’s a lot to unpack, and it’s why we’re thrilled that Josh Fabian, co-founder and CEO at Metafy, and backer Katelin Holloway, founding partner at Seven Seven Six, will join us onstage for a fireside chat at TechCrunch Disrupt on October 18–20 in San Francisco.
Historically, Metafy has seen rapid growth. Between April and September 2021, the startup’s monthly platform spend grew from $76,000 to $190,000 — up 52% from August to September alone. We’re curious to learn more about the company’s plans to scale and whether it can maintain that kind of hyper-growth.
We’re also looking forward to following up on Metafy’s stated plans to use that $25 million for new hires and more acquisitions and to create a fund to invest in competitive tournaments and other gaming-community events.
Fabian’s vision for the future wasn’t always so clear. At age 16, he dropped out of high school, determined to make it on his own. Bootstrapping his way to a career as a web designer to support his young family, Fabian eventually became lead designer at Groupon.
He then founded Kitsu, an anime social curation community with more than 1 million users. After his kids started playing Pokémon competitively, Fabian hired one of the best players in the world to coach them at just $20 per hour.
When Fabian learned that this world-champion gamer also worked a full-time job to survive, it sparked the idea that became Metafy — a platform built by gamers for gamers — to help the best players in the world make a living doing what they love.
Katelin Holloway is a founding partner at Seven Seven Six. She spent her early career at Pixar Animation Studios before transferring her culture-building skills from film to tech and dedicating more than a decade to developing teams as a senior executive at some of the internet’s most influential startups, including Klout and Reddit.
In early 2020, Holloway made the leap from operator to investor, helping entrepreneurs evolve their diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging practices, creating new opportunities and access to wealth for people and products typically underrepresented in the tech industry. As an investor, she focuses on funding and supporting the companies that will shape the future of work, life and sustainability.
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