Category: Alexis Ohanian

May 29, 2019 Off

Delane Parnell’s plan to conquer amateur esports

By Jill T Frey

Most of the buzz about esports focuses on high-profile professional teams and audiences watching live streams of those professionals.

What gets ignored is the entire base of amateurs wanting to compete in esports below the professional tier. This is like talking about the NBA and the value of its sponsorships and broadcast rights as if that is the entirety of the basketball market in the US.

Los Angeles-based PlayVS (pronounced “play versus”) wants to become the dominant platform for amateur esports, starting at the high school level. The company raised $46 million last year—its first year operating—with the vision that owning the infrastructure for competitions and expanding it to encompass other social elements of gaming can make it the largest gaming company in the world.

I recently sat down with Founder & CEO Delane Parnell to talk about his company’s formation and growth strategy. Below is the transcript of our … Read the rest

May 13, 2019 Off

Crowned by Burger King, meat replacement company Impossible Foods raises $300 million

By Jill T Frey

After being crowned by Burger King as the first meat replacement patty to roll out nationally with one of the largest fast food chains, Impossible Foods has raised $300 million in capital.

The financing brings the company’s total equity raise to $750 million — and provides a sizable pool of funds to draw from as it continues to compete with its newly publicly traded rival, Beyond Meat.

Both companies are looking to provide plant-based replacements for animal proteins, but while Beyond Meat has focused on consumers in the grocery store, Impossible Foods has focused on restaurants and business-to-business sales.

That focus paid off earlier this year with the announcement of the Impossible Whopper, and its subsequent nationwide rollout only a month later.

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