The star-studded list of investors in esports startup Unikrn continues to grow.
The Seattle-based company that’s developed a platform to safely bet on esports games received investment from Dallas Mavericks owner and celebrity billionaire Mark Cuban earlier this year.
Today they revealed that Ashton Kutcher, That 70’s Show star and host of MTV’s Punk’d, was also part of their Series A round of funding that topped $7 million. Kutcher may be an expert at playing an ignorant airhead, but in some ways he takes more after Steve Jobs, who he played in the biographical pic Jobs. He’s made plenty of successful investments in Silicon Valley, backing companies like Twitter, Uber, and Airbnb, and he’s famous for taking an active role in the startups he supports.
The announcement is timed to promote the launch of the Unikrn Global Arena, a platform that aims to bring the betting experience to markets like the United States, where real money gambling is prohibited. In the Global Arena, participants can watch and bet on esports matches—just like in Unikrn’s current “arena,” as the company calls it—but instead of using real money, they’ll use a virtual currency called “Unikoins.” Users can earn Unikoins on the website through a variety of activities the company has dubbed “quests,” which include things like answering trivia or engaging user’s friends on social media.
The company will also release its first companion app, Unikrn Vault, on iOS and Android. The app will provide users ways to earn the Unikoin currency, like answering daily trivia and even creating their own questions.
Unikrn founder and CEO Rahul Sood believes real money betting will be legal in the US in the not so far future, but his company is ready to provide users in markets where its not with the next closest thing.
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