I'm on a Mission to Bring Startup Investing to the Masses and This is How I'm Going to Do It!
Let's take self-directed investing to a whole new level.
It's time to hit the refresh button on my Technori newsletter.
Over the years, we've worked incredibly hard to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to pursue their ambitious dreams and connect with investors. And, by all accounts — with more than 50,000 subscribers and hundred’s of millions invested by angels and VC’s — it’s been a huge success!
But, investing in startups is still mostly a rich man’s game and I want to change that.
So, every week I'll send you an email brief on a startup that I'm looking to invest in and if you dig it, you can all invest right along with me via equity crowdfunding (if you don't know what that is, click here).
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Side note: How the ffff did Quibi get this SO wrong? I wrote about their missteps here, but I certainly didn't think they'd crater before Santa subscribed.
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Juked is creating a better way to discover, watch, and engage with gamers and fans from every esport. Fans of esports can come to one single platform now to check scores and highlights, follow games and to join respective communities.
Juked bills itself as "the one-stop destination for esports entertainment". Once fantasy gaming and esports betting goes more mainstream, I like Juked as the Bleacher Report for gamers!
Meet the Founders
Ben Goldhaber is Juked's founder and CEO. Prior to this, Ben spent 7 years scaling Twitch into a billion dollar exit to Amazon! Ben was a member of the founding team focused primarily on partnerships and content marketing — Ben is also a well respected gamer in his own right and someone that eats, breathes and sleeps gaming!
When looking at founding CEOs I need 3 (million) things; a distracted obsession, experience close to the sun... meaning, either witnessed rapid scale firsthand or did it themselves (preferred), and at least one tangible skill that can extend the company's timeline; be it sales, growth hacking or IP. Ben has these traits, to head up content for Twitch speaks volumes towards his ability to create something a lot of people will like.
Chris Chan is Juked's Co-founder and Chief Product Officer. Prior to this, Chris spent 15 years building cool products and talking about them as the host of the most popular esports vlog of all time for games like Overwatch, Hearthstone, and StarCraft 2 — Chris is also a repeat founder and highly respected figure in the gaming tech space.
Co-founders are tricky. Unless it's a Jobs & Wozniak, chicken and the egg scenario, there's always a fear that they will grow unevenly... like my [insert joke here]. Chris is a force in his own right with clout in the space and definitely knows the difference between a great product experience and shit, so the question will ultimately be can he build the right team around himself to execute on the vision.
Delan Tai is Juked's VP of Engineering. Prior to this, Delan was the CTO of Roostr [acquired by Chartboost in 2016] a marketplace to drive direct installs for mobile games through Influencer videos.
A great first hire towards the aforementioned. Delan is a proven full stack, hands-on-the-keyboard type that has experience scaling a product to exit in a related space (mobile gaming).
A better way to follow esports: streams, scores, news, + more—in one place
Founders include Twitch founding member; 25+ years of experience in esports
User base growing at 74% MoM on average to more than 50,000 MAU
Highly engaged: registered users spend ~90 minutes per day on Juked
Partnered with Tier 1 esports organizations i.e. Riot Games & DreamHack
Raised $1M from prominent gaming/tech execs | 500 Startups
The sign of a great opportunity in the D2C media space is strong, consistent growth with high DAU rates — without the need to spend money to maintain returning user activity. Juked (as expected) demonstrates a high level of skill creating organic noise in the space and the platform clearly is sticky enough to maintain its DAU attention. These are the sort of numbers I look for before exploring a capital infusion for growth/expansion purposes. Other key factors beyond the obvious market opportunity is the willingness and appetite of industry insiders to invest or partner with Juked; like anything else, if nobody wants to play with you it doesn't matter how slick your tech is... the Valley is littered with legendary user growth for nobody to monetize!
Gaming was already a multi-billion dollar industry, but gaming has only gotten bigger during the pandemic, with more and more people turning to video games to pass the time in quarantine. Avid gamers are playing more than usual, lapsed gamers are rediscovering their love for pixelated entertainment and newbs are picking up the sticks for the very first time.
There are an estimated 244 million gamers in the U.S. (roughly three-quarters of the population), an 18% increase since 2018, according to market research firm NPD Group. The average time spent playing video games has also increased, from 12 to 14 hours per week, over the same timeframe. And the total amount of venture capital and total dollar value of all mergers and acquisitions in the gaming industry in 2020 have already exceeded their levels from last year.
So yeah, gaming is huge and only poised to get bigger. It only makes sense that the cottage industries that have formed around gaming — such as esports and game streaming — will grow along with it.
Esports in particular is expected to continue its growth trajectory, and as it does, some company will emerge as the go-to platform for covering and connecting with the high-profile esports celebrities.
With that comes tons of competition, however. Juked is going to have to compete with Twitch and YouTube for fans’ attention, and those companies are owned by Microsoft and Google, respectively, and can throw tons of money at trying to crush Juked. Even ESPN is starting to cover esports.
Ironically, no company has been able to establish itself as the ESPN for esports. So the market opportunity is absolutely there. It’s merely a matter of which company executes the best.
Terms & Takeaway
Invest in Juked here 👉https://bit.ly/327ptP7
Security Type: Crowd Safe
Valuation Cap: $8,500,000
Investment Goal: $1,070,000
Raised (as of publishing): $717,353
Minimum Investment: $100
Here's what I like: the market is absolutely ginormous and I am still not even sure if we fully grasp how big it is. The founders have a lot experience in all the right places, and and there's a metric SHIT-TON of ways to monetize the platform — from advertising CPMs and subscription fees to add-ons in abundance: merch, tournament sponsorships, in-game upgrades, betting and sports fantasy plays... I could go on for a while here!
Here's what I don't love: There are big spenders in the space (Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Epic, Facebook - supposedly🙄) so if they don't move fast many of these platforms already have the parts. Also, you're already seeing the power of players and clans building out influencer presences to monetize themselves on mediums they own; which doesn't scale (similar to the recent defection of journalists to Substack) but it does make fragmentation a concern... sorta like herding cats. These are all factors that can be managed over time, but when combined with the pressures of initial success and managing growth (internally and externally) it's worth noting.
Who should invest and why: The pricing of Juked with an $8.5mm Value Cap makes this tempting, especially when you consider the interest (investment) being shown in the space by VC's and Big Tech. I can see a scenario whereby Juked raises another, much richer (than $8.5mm) round in the very near future. Which could trigger a conversion for us investors — allowing for a small but nice return if they opt to buy our shares back, or perhaps setting up a far better outcome should they take this thing all the way to exit!
If you're a believer in the space and its potential, this is a fantastic deal for a team of this quality with a product that already holds its own. So, you have to ask yourself, am I the investor looking for a small but quick ROI or am I in it for the long haul — either way, Juked might have a solution for both types... time will tell, I guess.
As always, startup investing is super high risk, anything can happen. So, don't invest money you can't afford to set on fire... These guys can hit a stride and still be toppled overnight. But, if they get it right... we're all saying we invested in the next Twitch 💰
Invest in Juked here 👉 https://bit.ly/3mIvdqc
Text me with any questions here 📲+1 312-847-4261