Social Esports Betting Platform Taunt Raises $3M in Funding
Taunt, a new esports platform that allows fans to compete against one another using prop bets closed its latest round of seed funding with $3 million. The platform attracted investments from Pioneer Square Labs, Vulcan Capital, and CRCM Ventures.
Designed to promote social engagement alongside esports, Taunt allows users to compete against each other by predicting various game outcomes during live matches. In sports betting these predictions are often called prop bets and can include important objectives, player actions, or other statistics.
The designers behind the platform call it the gamification of esports. Enhancing a fan’s viewing experience by making side wagers on the action is far from a new concept, but Taunt is among the first platforms to attempt to sidestep the betting label.
It is not yet clear how Taunt plans to monetize the platform. Charging users to place a “prediction” is an unlikely option since Taunt appears to be avoiding any comparison with their service to traditional sports betting.
Users are able to make their predictions in Taunt during the live broadcast of an esports match. In addition to predictions, users can answer live challenges, brag about their correct predictions, and taunt one another with their superior team and video game knowledge.
The Taunt mobile app is currently available in early access and is expected to fully release sometime this summer. The Taunt team is led by former Electronic Arts executive, Jon David. As co-general manager of the EA studio PopCap, David worked on several successful video game projects including Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled.