Sunday, September 24, 2023

A metaverse esports startup co-founded by cricketer Kumar Sangakkara just raised $3.2M in Seed funding

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Cricketing Hall of Fame batsman Kumar Sangakkara is co-founder of an esports platform that has raised US$2.5 million (A$3.2 million) in Seed funding to play sports in the metaverse.

The round was led by new Singapore-based investment firm Hangar X, plus several sports and web3 investors, including US-based Nucleus Advisors founder Jordan Waxman, Perth-based 5point8 Capital executive Mark D’Alessandro and former Tiger Global partner Jason Leng.

The funds will be allocated to the launch of more games worldwide by the metaverse startup.

Behaviol is a Sydney-based startup launched this year that allows players to buy and train virtual sports stars. The first game, Meta 11, is an artificial intelligence based virtual cricket game where players can acquire, nurture and improve their team of stars.

Krishan Deegallá

Behaviol CEO Krishan Deegalla

Sangakkara, now 44, laid down his bat and wicket-keeper gloves in 2020, having concluded his career as the sixth highest point scorer in Test cricket and the second highest point scorer in the ODI game, after Indian master Sachin Tendulkar. He teamed up with entrepreneurs Dr Dinuk Jayasuriya, Reza Magdon-Ismail and Krishan Deegalla to create Behaviol.

The core technology will be used as the foundation infrastructure for a range of other sports codes and franchises in the future, allowing fans to play their favorite sport in the metaverse.

Deegalla, the CEO of Behaviol and a mentor at Hangar X, said the idea started as a general conversation between friends sitting around the table and that “now turned into a stimulating new game concept that has the potential to redefine esports” from within. the current framework.

“Meta 11 is a paradigm-shifting technology that not only introduces players to a new way of gaming, but also creates a forward-looking path that brings artificial intelligence to esports in the metaverse,” he said.

Sangakkara said the idea of ​​creating a new platform for cricketers and fans to enjoy is like creating the next chapter in the history books.

“The idea of ​​Meta 11 is rooted in cricket because of our affinity with the sport,” he said.

“My background in cricket started when I was 22 years old, counting on 15 years of international sport for my country. When I think back to my time in the sport and now look to the future, it is extremely exciting to feel that we can create a platform that will ultimately shape the future of the sport I grew up with.”

Investor Jordan Waxman said esports is growing rapidly and that Behaviol is in a strong position to unlock its earning potential.

“Community, usability and great user experience are essential to success in the metaverse,” he said.

“I am impressed with the technology that Behaviol has already developed, the overall vision of the company and the potential in this space.

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