Ben Goldhaber, founder of Juked, joins the show to talk with Scott about his company, the opportunity in esports, his bac...
Esports is fragmented by nature
While esports is growing exponentially (495 million viewers expected in 2020), there truly is no good way for esports fans to follow their favorite games, players and teams.
This is because the esports ecosystem is fragmented by nature.
Fans need to be constantly glued to social media and crawl across dozens of community sites and subreddits. And this problem is only getting worse as new esports games, leagues, and platforms launch every year.
This is a drag on the overall growth of esports, making it difficult for existing fans to stay engaged and, crucially, making for a perilous path to becoming a fan of esports in the first place. Esports deserves a better solution.
Juked is a one-stop-shop that has everything esports fans need
Juked is creating a better way to discover, watch, and engage with likeminded fans around every esport. We make it so that fans can easily get scores, stats, highlights, follow games, stay in the know about news, and feel a sense of community, on one platform.
Juked has a similar feature set to Bleacher Report or ESPN, but esports provides some significant advantages:
- Esports is on an epic growth trajectory (revenues growing by more than 20% YoY since 2017).
- While traditional sports have come to a screeching halt due to COVID-19, esports has flourished.
- 43% of esports enthusiasts have "high household income" compared to 30% of the average online population.
The best way to engage with esports
Juked has put everything fans of esports could possibly desire into one easy to use platform.
Notifications: once a user sets up their favorite games, teams, and players, Juked will automatically notify them about every match.
Esports Streams: we aggregate and embed esports broadcasts (live streams and video on demand) from Twitch and YouTube.
Tournament Information: on Juked, you'll easily find tournament information like scores, standings, brackets, schedules, and more.
News and Content: written news and video content covering every esport, including breaking news and deep dives.
And more, coming soon™: social profiles, fantasy esports, gamification, commenting systems, and more coming soon.
Organic growth and partnerships across esports
Since launching 1 year ago our active user base has grown by 74.74% MoM on average to over 50,000 MAU with extremely limited marketing spend, and our registered users spend nearly 90 minutes on Juked when they come to the site.
Our primary growth drivers have been word of mouth, organic press, SEO, and content marketing, but we've also been able build mutually beneficial partnerships with some of the biggest tournament organizers in esports, including Riot Games.
Serving all esports fans
We've found the assumption that esports fans only watch one or two games, and don't care about any other esport games, to be false.
60% of our users reported that we helped them find new titles they wouldn’t have been introduced to otherwise, and our average user follows 4 or more games on the platform.
Here is what industry insiders and execs have to say about Juked.
A projected $100M ARR
We plan to monetize in 3 key areas:
- Premium subscription—a $4.99-$9.99 monthly subscription that gives access to exclusive badges, features, and original content like behind the scenes videos, interviews, and shows.
- Fantasy esports & pick'ems*—as the destination for following esports, we have prime real estate to build fantasy integration and gamification directly into Juked.
- Sponsorships, advertising, and data—we have unique insights about esports fan demographics and behaviors that brands and advertisers in the space are desperate for.
By capturing just 0.3% of 495M global esports viewers as paying users, Juked could generate in excess of $100M ARR from subscriptions and esports fantasy alone in the next 5-10 years, not to mention potential advertising, sponsorships, and data analytics sales.
*Fantasy esports is rapidly gaining acceptance in the U.S. and around the world, and this process has only been accelerated by COVID. That said, we also plan to build paid gamification that falls into a more casual bucket where players will compete on leaderboards and for badges/other aesthetics.
One of the fastest growing segments in media and entertainment
Esports is already huge, but did you know that the 2019 League of Legends World Finals drew more than 2x the concurrent viewers (44 million) at peak than game 6 of the 2019 NBA finals (20 million)?
And the esports market is thriving with both revenue and viewership growing exponentially each year for the past decade. With no end in sight, it is only a matter of time before esports becomes more popular than traditional sports.
The cherry on top of it all is that esports fans are an incredibly attractive demographics, primarily comprised of Millennials and Gen Z, and are wealthy to boot.
Still not sold? Check out this mini-doc on esports from CBSN:
Our product out-competes the market
Juked supports more than 35 esports games—our closest competitor supports just 8.
We know that hardcore esports fans care about the biggest tournaments and events across every esport—not just the top 10. That's why we have built the infrastructure and team to support more than 35 games. And our entertainment-focused design is specifically built to make it easy for new fans to jump in and find the best content to enjoy.
Our founding team has 25+ combined years of experience in esports, giving us a unique perspective on the needs of esports fans as well as direct, personal connections with executives and influencers from every corner of the industry.
Accelerating the growth of the global esports industry
We believe that anyone who plays an esports game can become an esports fan, but that the barrier to entry to enjoying esports is simply too high. We're passionate about solving this problem in order to accelerate the growth of esports for decades to come.
Over the next year we will...
- Launch Juked iOS and Android apps.
- Make watching esports more social with esports fan profiles and watch parties.
- Make watching esports more fun with pick'ems and fantasy.
- Launch flagship original content, including podcasts, highlights shows, event recaps, and more.
$1M in funding from prominent esports investors
We've closed $1M in pre-seed funding from high profile esports and tech investors, such as the former CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, the co-founders of MyFitnessPal, and a former board member at Twitch, among other notable investors. We are also proud alumni of 500 Startups Batch 26!
Now, we look to you, the Republic community, to help us take the next step forward. We don’t just want investors—we want a community of supporters who will help make Juked the best possible platform for the esports community. Together, we’ll take esports to the next level. We hope you join us!
Ben, Juked's CEO, was the first gaming hire at Justin.tv and was on the founding team at Twitch, where he played critical roles over 7 years as the company scaled through a $1B exit to Amazon.
Chris, Juked's COO/CPO, has more than 15 years of product and engineering experience, and has also created some of the most popular esports talk shows and podcasts of all time for games like Overwatch, Hearthstone, and StarCraft 2.
Delan joined Juked shortly after launch, and is the company's VP of Engineering. Delan is a senior full stack developer and was the CTO of Roostr, which was acquired by Chartboost in 2016.