Delane Parnell, A 25-Year-Old Black Entrepreneur, Secures $30 Million Investment From Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs
Delane Parnell has accomplished a lot at 25 years of age, and he’s one of the few Black entrepreneur’s that’s become a breakout star in the tech space. His esports company PlayVS just received second round funding for $30.5 million from people like Sean “Diddy” Combs, Samsung, Adidas and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
And in a previous round, he secured $15 million in seed money from several investors including Nas, former NBA player Baron Davis, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Russell Okung.
PlayVS is a software that will integrate specific esport games on to a singular online portal that can be accessed by students and faculty. This will allow for esport competitions to be formed at the high school level, and students will be able to form teams, play against other schools and possibly win college scholarships. The portal will also document individual and teams statistics, as well as schedule competitions for the schools.
In addition to the seed money, Parnell secured a partnership deal with the National Federation of State High School Associations, the group that writes the rules for high school sports in the United States.
He also landed deals with the video game developers Psyonix, the creators of “Rocket League” a while back, as well as Hi-Rez Studios, the publishers of “SMITE” and “MOBA.”
“One of the reasons we’re most excited about esports is accessibility,” he said in a press release. “With this new round of funding and the addition of ‘Rocket League’ and ‘SMITE,’ we’re able to take another huge step forward as we open the pathway for more students to compete and be recognized in the burgeoning esports industry.”
In June Forbes reported that PlayVS could be accessed by 20,000 high schools and that number is likely to grow exponentially. The very first competition using the portal begins on Feb. 25.