Catching up with Taseen Peterson, CEO of Gamefuly
Newark-based serial entrepreneur Taseen Peterson has a new startup. The founder of Notefuly and TapFactory is now building Gamefuly, a marketplace for people who want to become better esports gamers faster.
Peterson and his team have a great pedigree. Notefuly was named to Inc magazine’s Coolest College Startups in America list when Peterson was at Seton Hall.
There’s big money to be made in competitive esports gaming, and he wants Gamefuly to be THE premiere online destination for gamer tips, techniques, and coaching, enabling customers to can become more competitive gamers. As it’s a marketplace, the company also has a platform for esports experts to post lessons.
There’s enough of a market in esports that Techstars is giving the startup a shot. The worldwide video game market could grow from $137.9 billion this year to $180.1 billion by 2021, according to Newzoo. The research firm also expects the top five video game markets to generate nearly $98 billion in revenue this year.
Competitive games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are going mainstream, Peterson noted. Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, is hosting a “Fortnite World Cup,” which he described as “a series of tournaments this summer that leads up to one massive tournament, with prizes totaling $30 million dollars!” The World Cup arena sold out for the League of Legends Championships, and there were still 50 million people who watched on streaming, he said. “There were more people tuned into that video game championship than watched the Super Bowl.”
However, Peterson says, the problem is that there are no dedicated environments for learning how to become a better gamer. People can look at YouTube videos, but that site is not curated for video game learning, and Twitch is mostly entertainment and social. “Our solution is a dedicated online learning environment where people share online video lessons, offer one-on-one coaching and are introduced to tools and best practices on how to monetize the thing we’ve all loved to do for most of our lives. Playing video games.”
Peterson noted that his 11-year-old daughter plays travel soccer, and she trains with a soccer coach. “Just as people hire a tennis coach or golf instructor, we’re that for esports.”
For those who may be skeptical about the interest in esports, Peterson noted that more than 200 universities now offer courses in esports, “not game design or any of that, but actual competitive game play.” So there are many people who want to make playing video games a profession.
Peterson said that he and his cofounders started building Gamefuly a year ago. The team includes CTO Mark Peterson, who is also Taseen’s brother, and who has been his partner in all of his previous ventures, and Creative Director/COO Tiffon Turner.
“We were accepted into Techstars Anywhere. They believe in our team, our vision and the hyper growth of this space, so they backed us with a little bit of capital and other amazing resources to help kick things off.” Peterson and his team are all excited to be participating in the Techstars accelerator.
“Techstars is one of the premier startup accelerators, and its advisor, mentor network and resources are all world-class,” he said. Their rate of success for a startup is higher than industry standards. “We’re getting a lot of feedback from our users and growing pretty quickly. The [Techstars] network is helping us in so many ways to achieve this next level of our business,”
The Techstars Anywhere program was perfect for Peterson and his crew. “They get applicants from all over the world, and we were fortunate to be among a handful of amazing founders and startups that were selected, who are all like family now. We work most of the time from Newark.
“We spent a week in LA for programming a few weeks ago, visited the HQ in Boulder and soon we’re all meeting in New York. Everything else is remote, including meetings and workshops.”