|Launch date March 2012|
|Platform iOS and Android|
Type of business Mobile gaming
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Skillz is a leading mobile eSports platform that can be integrated into iOS and Android games. Skillz operates cash competitions in mobile games of skill. Skillz accounted for more than 30 percent of all eSports prizes awarded in 2016 while broadcasting 40 million minutes of gameplay to spectators worldwide. The company launched in 2012 in North America in stealth mode under the name ;Lookout Gaming.
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Skillz was founded by Andrew Paradise and Casey Chafkin. Both are veterans of AisleBuyer, a Boston-based mobile checkout tech startup which was founded by Andrew Paradise and acquired by Intuit in 2012. Skillz has offices in San Francisco and Boston and has raised over $28 million in funding from leading venture capitalists as well as the owners of the New England Patriots, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Mets.
In April 2013, Skillz launched its platform on Android with ten titles and ten game studio partners. In its first two weeks, Skillz surpassed one million downloads and 100,000 real-money gaming registrations. In December 2016, Skillz announced that it had run over 100 million eSports tournaments total. The company also announced that it had awarded over $60 million in total eSports prizes in December 2016, awarding over $5 million in cash prizes to players every month.
In May 2014, Skillz announced the availability of its iOS SDK and reported that it has partnered with more than 300 game studios and has launched more than 150 games on the App Store. In December 2016, Skillz announced that was currently partnered with over 3,000 mobile game developers, helping them to improve the player experience through fair, fun competition.
Skillz provides an SDK for mobile games developers that allows users to compete in casual competitions as well as tournaments for real money. In May 2014, Skillz reported hosting 50,000 micro-tournaments everyday across 150 different games. By enabling cash competitions in mobile games, Skillz is the first company to provide a cash competition SDK and its stated mission is to enable eSports for everyone. Founders Casey Chafkin and Andrew Paradise are trying to democratize the eSports industry by enabling eSport competitions for all players.
In November 2016, Skillz announced the launch of brand-sponsored tournaments. This service allows brands to easily sponsor and host mobile eSports tournaments for any game titles on the Skillz platform.
In June 2014, Skillz announced that it had been granted two patents for its intellectual property: U.S. Patent 8,414,387 relates to a peer-to-peer software platform that enables wagering on online skill-based games, while U.S. Patent 8,715,077 relates to dynamic advertising based on gameplay and wagering on online skill-based games. In November 2016, the company announced that it was granted two additional patents: U.S. Patent 8,882,576 covers the mathematical algorithm that enables Skillz to evaluate how much of the outcome of a given game depends on skill vs. chance, and U.S. Patent 9,349,246 covers the integrations portal, which allows developers to implement the Skillz Tournament Management System entirely through self service. This brings the company’s patent wins to four total.
Skillz provides both virtual currency and cash tournaments worldwide. In the United States, Skillz operates cash competitions in 37 states, and virtual currency competitions nationwide.
Known Skillz-enabled games include: