The partnership with BetaBlox will provide six months of mentorship in return for a five percent equity stake in Coinplay.io. The startup’s CEO and co-founder Shane Park also hopes the partnership will give his gaming company a boost when it comes to securing investors.
“My co-founder, Andy Compton, and I see this as a great opportunity,” Park said in a press release. “It’s a huge boost of confidence for what we are passionate about…Partnering with BetaBlox will also help us secure an initial round of funding.”
BetaBlox also seems optimistic about the alliance. “We’re very excited to add Coinplay.io to the BetaBlox team,” lead investor Wes Bergmann said in the press release. “This was our most competitive application-base ever, which validates that their team has a major leg up on a typical venture at this stage. The future of both gaming and the Coinplay.io team is bright.”
Park says he and Compton partnered with up-and-coming game designers and Dogecoin once they recognized an unfulfilled consumer demand. After subscribing to /r/dogecoin on reddit December 2013, Park found he wasn’t able to use the online currency at several businesses he wanted to patronize, including a few gaming sites.
Park petitioned several retailers to accept Dogecoin, but received little, if any, response. Frustrated, Park decided to take matters into his own hands. Partnering with Compton as the back-end developer, Park’s vision for Coinplay.io took off quickly, despite both founders being family-men with full-time jobs.
“In the two months we’ve been doing this, we’ve accomplished a great deal,” Park said. “Not only do we have a functioning platform, we’ve created partnerships with independent game developers, marketed our product, and earned our way into a startup incubator.”
Although Coinplay.io’s goal is to expand cryptocurrency payment options, they don’t want to exclude other forms of payment. As the company moves out of beta, there are plans to begin accepting Bitcoin, Litecoin, and credit cards. “Aside from business reasons, we realized not accepting fiat would be hypocritical, considering one of Coinplay.io’s reasons for being developed was because the currencies we wanted weren’t supported. What we want to be is currency agnostic. But ultimately user and developer interest will be what motivates us to add support for new currencies,” Park said.
Both BetaBlox and Coinplay.io are based in Kansas City, which was recently named the best city in the country for starting an online business by HighSpeedInternet.com. The BetaBlox team includes experienced entrepreneurs and technologists committed to supporting and growing Kansas City startups. Bergman said Coinplay.io was selected as one of 16 companies to present to BetaBlox after surpassing roughly 400 other startups competing for the coveted partnership. Park’s presentation, along with nine others, was enough to earn a contract with BetaBlox.
“There’s a couple things that stood out to us regarding Coinplay.io’s areas of differentiation,” Bergman said. “The first was that they are geared towards the cryptocurrency community – which opens themselves up to a large group of people looking for ways to liquidate otherwise hard-to-liquidate assets. The second is that they have a slew of game developers in the pipeline that few gamers have ever heard of that they’ve deemed as up and coming. “But lastly, we chose Coinplay.io for the founding team’s competency. Startups, especially tech startups, evolve so much over-time that we care way more about the wow factor of the founders than anything else. That’s the only thing that will be the same about the business in five years, so we need to make a correct decision there before anything else.”
Now that Coinplay.io has partnered with BetaBlox, both Park and Bergman have wasted no time identifying goals for the Kansas City startup. According to Bergman, “the immediate goals for Coinplay.io is to jam their offerings with hard to find rising star game developers that can’t be found other places. It’s also going to be to tap into the cryptocurrency market and inform various currency holders that there’s a place to utilize them.”
In addition to expansion, Park and Compton are looking forward to maximizing their opportunity to network with and learn from other entrepreneurs because they are confident in Coinplay.io’s potential for success. “I knew from the start we were presenting something solid. Whether or not our pitch would be better received than a majority of the other pitches, I had no idea,” Park said. “Getting the email stating we were selected was really gratifying. No matter what happened with BetaBlox, we were going to grow this business. Now we’ve got experts supporting us.”
Image retrieved from Coinplay.io website.