The door of opportunities to securing income continues to open for gamers, and a Black co-founder is leading one of them.

Series A Funding Round

Players’ Lounge — a Drake-backed wagering platform co-founded by Austin Woolridge — recently announced it raised $10.5 million in its Series A funding round, according to information shared with AfroTech. 

Investors In Players' Lounge

Led by Griffin Gaming Partners, among the participants were Comcast Ventures, Samsung Next, Vice Ventures, WndrCo, Sharp Alpha Partners, True Capital, Myles Garrett, Josh Norman, and Breanna Stewart.

Going From Music To Tech

Similar to Players’ Lounge and its evolution, Woolridge’s career path initially included being a music producer. Now, he’s the CEO of his own company. He says that the Series A funding round “represents personal and professional freedoms.”

“For me, it’s validation of our dynamism,” Woolridge shared with AfroTech about what the moment of the funding round means to him. “It is acknowledgment that we can identify a bigger picture and adapt. Players’ Lounge started as a company that hosted in-person FIFA tournaments at bars. Now, we are a full-blown tech company creating an entirely new vertical in gaming.”

He continued: “I feel a sense of personal satisfaction in knowing that I am capable of ideating a vision, raising money around that vision, and scaling a team to execute that vision successfully.”

Expansion Into More Games

The new funding will go toward the company’s expansion beyond just sports games and into video games such as Call of Duty. The goal of it all is to help all kinds of gamers be able to cash in off of their playing skills. 

“As much as I love sports video games, the gaming world is much bigger, encompassing many other genres,” Woolridge said. “And as much as I love 1v1 competitiveness, playing with your friends, as opposed to against, is more social and arguably more fun. For years gamers have barraged us with requests to support Call of Duty, Apex Legends, Fortnite, Rocket League, Valorant, and other non-sports, team-based games. We raised this Series A to build what our customers want — which is an entirely new app that accommodates these games titles and the ability to win money gaming with your friends.”

According to the co-founder, every match a user plays is logged and tracked, as well as users have full access to their match and transaction histories at any time to monitor their net earnings.

Closing Out 2022

Players’ Lounge plans to “support more games titles and launch new wagering features [parlays].”

What’s more, the company is set to host a launch party in New York City.