StartPlaying announced they it just held a new round of funding and managed to raise $6.5m from Andreessen Horowitz. The venture capital firm's general partners Jonathan Lai and Andrew Chen were responsible for the seed round funding, which according to the company will go towards scaling marketing to reach new players, as well as broadening StartPlaying's network of industry partnerships, and hiring top talent to join their team. The company currently has plans to double its team's size by the end of the year, and these funds will greatly help them out in doing so, it's just a matter of who they're going after and for what. In the meantime, here's more info and a couple quotes from the deal.
"We're investing in putting together a world-class team," explained CEO and co-founder Nate Tucker. "We believe this will be the key to maintaining StartPlaying's momentum."
"Beyond growing a user base, this is about community," stated Devon Chulick. "Whether it's helping Game Masters and players find each other or collaborating with industry partners, we're proud to have the opportunity to bring people together through the power of games. The tabletop role-playing community is at its best when it's inclusive. We want StartPlaying to continue breaking down barriers for new players."
With over 40 million people playing tabletop role-playing games today, TTRPG has outgrown its niche beginnings. a16z's investment in the platform forecasts the consolidation of TTRPG into the mainstream and the rise of a professional avenue for skilled players. Since it was founded in September 2020, StartPlaying has seen over 100,000 games hosted by more than 1,000 professional Game Masters on the platform to earn $2.5M and counting. StartPlaying's continued growth points to a demand for professional Game Masters and evergreen interest in TTRPG games. Of all new users that join StartPlaying, almost half have never played the game.