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PortalOne: World’s first hybrid games platform co-founded by Warner Bros former technical director secures $60M funding

PortalOne
Image credits: PortalOne

The gaming market keeps getting bigger and bigger, driven by the emergence of technologies like cloud gaming, VR gaming, and much more. Companies like Microsoft, Nintendo, Twitch, and Activision have all reached new heights in player investment.

The gaming industry has surpassed both movies and sports combined as the biggest moneymaker in entertainment. The global gaming market was valued at $173.7B in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of $314.4B by 2026.

The gaming industry has increased by half a billion players in the past three years, totaling 2.7B people globally. The report predicts more than 400M new gamers are expected by the end of 2023.

PortalOne: World’s first hybrid games platform

And PortalOne, a Los Angeles-based gaming company, eyes to scoop up a chunk of market share with its hybrid games platform. What are Hybrid games? Hybrid games are a new category that mixes games with live shows embedded directly inside the games. 

Today, PortalOne has raised $60M in an oversubscribed Series A funding round from a group of A-list investors. The funding round comes eight months after securing $15M from Atari, camera maker ARRI, Founders Fund, and others. 

Who backed?

Tiger Global led the round with participation from TQ Ventures, Temasek, Avenir Growth, Founders Fund, Talis Capital, Connect Ventures, Animoca Brands, Access industries, and Coatue Management. 

The round also saw participation from many high-profile angel investors, including Matt Cohler, Aleksander Larserm, Julius Genachowski, and Rishi Garg.

How will the funding be used?

The capital will allow PortalOne to fund its next phase of growth, including a ramp-up to enable rapid expansion of content production for its hybrid games platform. 

At present, the company is actively seeking out and negotiating partnerships with brands and IP owners for their use in the creation of new hybrid gaming formats.

So far, the company has secured exclusive global distribution rights with Atari for seven years, an agreement that will allow Atari’s most popular arcade games to be “super-sized” and brought onto the platform. 

Co-founded by Kasin brothers

Founded by Bård Anders Kasin, and Stig Olav Kasin in 2018, PortalOne is the world’s first hybrid games platform that seamlessly embeds live shows into games.

Bård, who serves as CEO, previously worked as a Technical Director at Warner Bros. on revolutionary movie productions including the Matrix Trilogy. He also co-founded The Future Group, which provides mixed reality solutions for media production. 

Stig Olav, who serves as CXO, is an award-winning developer and executive producer of interactive entertainment and mobile games. 

Bård Anders Kasin, CEO and Co-founder of PortalOne, says, “Gaming, social, and media are converging, and we are fortunate to be at the very edge of that frontier. Our company now enters an exciting new phase of scaling up on all fronts as we prepare to introduce hybrid games to the world. Having great partners paved the way for us to make rapid progress in developing hybrid games. Now we look forward to welcoming new partners who recognize the opportunity PortalOne offers for iconic and popular IP brands to bridge into a whole new era of entertainment.”

image credits: PortalOne

PortalOne Arcade: a retro-inspired universe 

The platform’s first format is PortalOne Arcade, a retro-inspired universe that immerses the show’s guests inside original PortalOne games as well as into contemporary and “super-sized” classic games. 

This pairing enables users to compete directly against a show’s guests right from their mobile phones, says the company. 

The company is also building its proprietary technology to enable third-party creators to create content on the PortalOne platform. 

Here’s how it works:

Video credits: PortalOne

Full launch in H1, 2022

PortalOne recently established its US production studio in Los Angeles and is set to grow its team in both the US and Norway. The company launched its US/Canada closed beta in August 2021, and the waitlist is now open for test users at PortalOne.com

The company aims for a full launch in the first half of 2022.

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