News

HOLE-IN-ONE! INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES PARTNERS WITH SKILLZ TO OFFER MOBILE CASH PRIZES WITH GOLDEN TEE: TOURNAMENT EDITION

By Brand Creative on October 27, 2022 in Blog Posts

 

The Partnership Expands Golden Tee Golf’s Extensive Experience in Online Prize Competitions to Millions of Skillz Competitive Mobile Gamers.

On the heels of the legendary arcade franchise’s 33rd anniversary, Golden Tee® Golf is expanding its mobile gaming reach with a new title built exclusively with Skillz Inc., the leading mobile games platform. Golden Tee: Tournament Edition aims to blend the franchise’s loyal player base with the millions of gamers competing on the Skillz platform, which offers industry-leading monetization through its competitive tournament system.

The game is set to launch on Apple and Android devices on Monday, November 7, 2022, on the heels of Golden Tee Mobile’s 3rd anniversary. It will debut with a handful of game options. Players will be able to compete in nine-hole matches along with the all-new Closest-to-the-Pin game mode.

Along with the trademark swing mechanics and an array of original, fantasy courses, this new installment gives players of any skill level an opportunity to focus on the essential competitive and prize-filled experiences that arcade veterans have grown to love over the last 33 years.

“We are thrilled to partner with Incredible Technologies and launch the iconic title, Golden Tee, on the Skillz platform” said Andrew Paradise, CEO of Skillz. “We are looking forward to enabling millions of golf fans to enjoy the thrill of competition on their mobile devices, while extending Golden Tee’s reach exponentially.”

“Like we’ve seen on the arcade side, Golden Tee Mobile has its own growing community of incredibly passionate players,” Golden Tee: Tournament Edition Project Manager John Noble said. “Our goal is to build a next chapter, and we believe the game will appeal to existing players, brand loyalists and a new audience.”

With over 150,000 arcade machines sold to bars and restaurants across the world, Golden Tee Golf is one of the best-selling arcade sports games of all time. In recent years, Golden Tee Golf has also carved out a place in the mobile gaming space with the 2019 launch of Golden Tee Mobile™.

Golden Tee is more than just a bar game. Over the course of three decades, it grew into a pop culture phenomenon. Known as one of the original esports, the game has continued to grow through both live and virtual tournaments in tens of thousands of venues worldwide.

“Golden Tee has always been about competition,” says Adam Kramer, President of Incredible Technologies’ Amusement Division. “We are thrilled to partner with Skillz to bring Golden Tee’s mobile experience and presence to an entirely new level.” 

Skillz is pioneering the competitive mobile gaming experience, connecting players in fair, fun, and meaningful competition. Through Skillz’s proprietary and patented player rating and matching technology, players will have the opportunity to compete in mobile Golden Tee Golf tournaments for cash prizes on mobile devices against users with similar skill sets across a variety of immersive outdoor environments.

For more information on Golden Tee: Tournament Edition, please visit GoldenTee.com/tournament-edition.

About Incredible Technologies.

Incredible Technologies, Inc. (IT) specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of entertainment products for the on-premise amusement and casino gaming industries. IT was founded in 1985 by Elaine Hodgson and Richard Ditton and has focused since on fostering an environment of innovation in the arcade, amusement, and casino gaming industriesIT is most widely known as the creators of the most successful pay-to-play amusement game in history, Golden Tee® Golf, its 1989 breakout hit. IT’s online platform, ITNET™, has been powering online and skilled-based prize contests since 1996. IT is a privately held, certified Women’s Business Enterprise with membership in the American Gaming Association, National Indian Gaming Association, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, Amusement Machine Operators Association and American Amusement Machine Association.

About Skillz
Skillz is the leading mobile games platform dedicated to bringing out the best in everyone through competition. The Skillz platform helps developers create multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competition in their games. Leveraging its patented technology, Skillz hosts billions of casual esports tournaments for millions of mobile players worldwide, with the goal of building the home of competition for all. Skillz has earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators, CNBC’s Disruptor 50, Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and the number-one fastest-growing company in America on the Inc. 5000. 


Media Contacts:

Incredible Technologies
ITinfo@itsgames.com

Skillz
press@skillz.com

 

Play Mechanix is the Winner of the NFL & Skillz Game Developer Challenge

By Brand Creative on October 20, 2022 in Blog Posts

Play Mechanix’s NFL QB Shootout Is Skillz’ first NFL branded mobile game and is Now Available on iOS and Android 


SAN FRANCISCO – October 20, 2022 – The National Football League (NFL) and Skillz (NYSE: SKLZ), the leading mobile games platform bringing fair and fun competition to players worldwide, today revealed that Play Mechanix won the NFL & Skillz Game Developer Challenge. Through this first-of-its-kind collaboration, competing developers had the opportunity to create innovative NFL-inspired and branded mobile games powered by the Skillz esports platform. Play Mechanix was selected out of nearly 200 developers for their high-quality graphics, NFL brand representation, and fun and challenging game play that is expected to appeal to current NFL fans and others who may be experiencing the fun of the NFL for the first time.

The winning game, NFL QB Shootout, invites fans to quarterback their favorite NFL team to victory by mastering their football throwing prowess. With 32 NFL teams to choose from, players compete by throwing passes and scoring touchdowns to win real-world prizes before the clock runs out.

“Huge congratulations to Play Mechanix for building a game that received high marks from NFL fans around the world to win the developer challenge, ” said Andrew Paradise, CEO of Skillz. “Empowering game developers defines the heart and soul of what we do at Skillz, and is the reason why we approached the NFL to team up on this competition. We are excited to partner with Play Mechanix to offer the thrill and fun of NFL QB Shootout to millions of players.”

 

“It’s an incredible honor to win the NFL & Skillz Developer Challenge” said George Petro, President of Play Mechanix. “The NFL is one of the biggest brands in the world, and our vision was to create a unique game experience that will excite both current and new fans alike. Through this opportunity, Skillz is empowering us to create an NFL branded mobile game that enables evenly matched tournaments while facilitating an amazing experience for players.”

 

NFL QB Shootout will enable engagement with millions of new and existing football fans where they live – on mobile – while driving the convergence of offline and online sports. The winning game, NFL QB Shootout, showcases the possibilities that happen when developers’ creativity meets the power of the Skillz platform, along with the magnitude of the NFL brand and its fandom. 

NFL QB Shootout is available now for play on iOS and Android


About Skillz Inc.

Skillz is the leading mobile games platform dedicated to bringing out the best in everyone through competition. The Skillz platform helps developers create multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competition in their games. Leveraging its patented technology, Skillz hosts billions of casual esports tournaments for millions of mobile players worldwide, with the goal of building the home of competition for all. Skillz has earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators, CNBC’s Disruptor 50, Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and the number-one fastest-growing company in America on the Inc. 5000. www.skillz.com

About Play Mechanix, Inc.

Founded in 1995 by former Midway designer George Petro (NARC, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Revolution X), Play Mechanix is a global leader in the design and development of arcade video games. Merging with Raw Thrills in 2006 to form the top arcade video game manufacturer in the world, Play Mechanix is responsible for hit releases such as the Big Buck Hunter series, Minecraft Dungeons Arcade, Halo: Fireteam Raven, The Walking Dead, Terminator Salvation, Aliens Armageddon, MotoGP and many more.

Fireside chat with Jerry Bruckheimer

By Brand Creative on October 7, 2022 in Blog Posts

If you could hang out with one famous person who would it be? 

For us, it would be Jerry Bruckheimer – legendary, iconic, and world-renowned film and television producer. Perhaps the most successful producer of all time, Jerry Bruckheimer’s productions include the monumental films Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure, Bad Boys, and Beverly Hills Cop franchises, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Remember the Titans, Armageddon, The Rock, Crimson Tide, and Top Gun – just to name a few.

In a career spanning 40+ years, Jerry’s projects have been honored with 43 Academy Award nominations, 6 Oscars, 8 Grammy Award nominations, 5 Grammys, 23 Golden Globe nominations, 4 Golden Globes, 140 Emmy Award nominations, 23 Emmys, 36 People’s Choice nominations, 15 People’s Choice Awards, and numerous MTV Awards, including one for Best Picture of the Decade for “Beverly Hills Cop.” 

For those reasons and more, we couldn’t contain our excitement when Skillz CEO Andrew Paradise hosted a special fireside chat with Jerry Bruckheimer for all Skillz employees. Jerry and Andrew discussed Skillz, gaming, entertainment, and what it takes to make a blockbuster hit.

Here is a snapshot of their conversation: 

Andrew: Can you give us any lessons that you’ve learned throughout the years? Is there a formula for the success you have achieved?
Jerry: I think if there was a formula, every one of the pictures I made would have been a hit, and they’re not. It’s about finding the gem. There’s always a gem there somewhere in that story. Whatever you want to tell – be unique, be different. Make things better. Do whatever you’re doing better than the next person, and you’ll succeed. And if you put the time in, you get rewarded – you always get rewarded. Success breeds success and hard work is always the way you get there.

Andrew: Do you ever feel nostalgic when you see any of your earlier films?
Jerry: You know, what’s interesting is that I never look at them again unless I am being asked to. It’s because I always see things I want to change, and I think, because they’re already out, that’s difficult. I always feel you can make something better. It’s never good enough anytime.

Andrew: What’s your favorite TV show or movie that you didn’t work on?
Jerry: That’s hard to say, I couldn’t even answer that question to be honest. There are so many great TV shows and movies that I would have loved to have been a part of, but you can’t make them all. There are still so many actors and directors that I would love to work with.

Andrew: What’s your biggest piece of advice for someone who wants to start their own production company?
Jerry: I think that you have to understand what everybody does. You gotta start at the bottom and work yourself up and understand what everybody’s job is. You have to understand how they do it, why they do it, and what makes them as skillful as they are. That’s what I did. Starting out, I worked in a mailroom and eventually became an associate producer. I figured out what everybody did and that’s how I learned. So really, that was my schooling.

Andrew: How do you pick which movies to work on?
Jerry: I ask, “Do I want to see it?” If I want to see that movie, I’ll try to get it made.

Andrew: Jerry, what is your life mantra?
Jerry: Always look forward, never look back. You know, we had this big success, and I’m always worried about the next one. We’ve done it, we climbed that mountain – and I’m looking at the next mountain right now.

Andrew: Thanks for joining us Jerry. Any parting words?
Jerry: Thanks for having me. You’re very lucky to be working at skillz. I think Andrew is somebody who’s going to do it again, and he’s done it before – building these companies and making huge successes. When I first met Andrew, I thought he was a real disruptor – somebody who would come in and build a company, which he already has, and make it fantastic, which is exactly what he’s doing. I hope you achieve everything you want to achieve and that you have fun while doing it. You got to have fun – that’s what it’s about. We have fun making movies, and TV shows. We always find ways to have fun at work – so enjoy it.

If you’d like to join Skillz on our journey to build the future of competition check out our careers page for more!

Leaders of the leaderboard – Grace Tang

By Brand Creative on September 26, 2022 in Blog Posts

Meet Grace Tang, a Marketing Analyst on the Product team here at Skillz. Grace is also an amazing player and often at the top of our staff leaderboards! We took some time to chat with Grace to learn more about her favorite games, strategies, and ways of playing.

Q: What is your Skillz username? Why did you choose it?
A: My username is “gtang770”. “gtang” is just my first initial and last name. The “770” was from when I was playing Pokemon Go with my brother. I wanted a username that was already taken, so he came up with the number “770” to append to the end (as opposed to “007”). Since then, I’ve been using “770” as part of my identity.

Q: Which Skillz powered game are you playing the most right now? Why do you love it?
A: I really like puzzle games. At the moment, I’m playing a lot of Spider Solitaire Cash. As a kid I spent a lot of time playing Spider Solitaire on my family’s computer, so this brings a lot of nostalgia for me. Other Skillz favorites of mine include Sushi Drop Tournament, Cubie Dash Tournament, Block Blitz, Bubble Shooter Arena, Big Cooking, and Word Star.

Q: Any tips and tricks you learned along the way?
A: For Spider Solitaire Cash, I learned that it’s easier to move the cards in the central piles if you swipe sideways (left-right vs. up-down). The timer also does not set off until you touch the cards, so you can actually spend some time visualizing potential combos before taking action.

Q: Tell us, what’s your highest score to date?
A: It depends on the game, but for Spider Solitaire Cash, my highest score is 7,806. For Bubble Shooter Arena, my highest score is 440,040. They’re very different games, so the scoring is drastically different!

Q: How many games do you play on average every week?
A: It varies from week to week depending on what I have going on at work or in my personal life. This past month, I’ve been averaging about 215 games/week. 

Q: What’s your favorite thing about playing Skillz games?
A:  I like how I can pick them up and put them down at any time because of how short the games are (though oftentimes they are very hard to put down, since they are so fun!). I also like how there are no ads, so it’s quite streamlined to go from one tournament to the next.

Q: Can you tell us about an epic win you had on the platform?
A: I felt really satisfied the first time I made a perfect run in the Cubie Dash Tournament!

Q: Have you ever redeemed Ticketz? Which prize(s) did you choose?
A: I currently have 1.9 Million tickets, and I’m planning to buy some Skillz Swag for me and my fiancé.

Q: Is there another Skillz game you wish you could master?
A: Block Blitz. I really enjoy that game, but I have yet to master it! I often gridlock myself and end up running out of moves before the timer goes out. Hopefully one day I can pick up some good strategies and rack up some points!

Can you beat gtang770? Download Spider Solitaire Cash TODAY! 

Leaders of the Leaderboard: Mahip Vyas

By Brand Creative on September 21, 2022 in Blog Posts

Mahip Vyas is a Programmatic Lead on the User Acquisition team at Skillz. Mahip is also an amazing player and often on top of our leaderboards. We took some time to chat with Mahip to learn more about his favorite game, strategy and ways of playing.

Q: What is your Skillz username? Why did you choose it?
A: My username is MVSklz. It’s a combination of my initials and Skillz. I have been a member of the platform since May 2015.

Q: What Skillz powered game are you playing the most right now? Why do you love it?

A: While I enjoy competing in many games on Skillz, the one which I play most on my phone is Bubble Shooter Arena. Being a big fan of arcade games, I love the simplicity of this game. I enjoy being challenged head-on-head in this fast-paced, 3-minute game where strategy, precision, and fast fingers are what give you that edge over your competitor to clear the board, maximize the score, and rake in big bucks. 

Q: Any tips and tricks you learned along the way?
A: Pay attention to the accuracy of the aim while shooting the bubble and creating clusters of bubbles. Look out for special bubbles which give you double points, and skillfully use the bouncing walls to direct bubbles in the right spot.

Q: Tell us, what’s your highest score to date? 

A: 332,640

Q: How many games do you play on average every week?

A: Somewhere between 25-60 games per week.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about playing Skillz games?

A: I enjoy the thrill of 1-on-1 competition in live real-time games – where I can challenge my friends and win real world cash prizes. While staying at home during the pandemic, it was difficult to meet with friends in person. Interactions such as this gave us a sense of being close while still keeping that competitive spirit alive. And now that we all have such busy routines again, Skillz has empowered us to play snack-size competitive games in the digital world! 

Q: Can you tell us about an epic win you had on the platform?

A: Unlocking trophies of winnings of $1000 or more.

Q: Have you ever redeemed Ticketz? Which prize(s) did you choose?

A: I frequently redeem Ticketz for bonus cash and challenge my friends to play cash games.

Q: Is there another Skillz game you wish you could master?

A: Real time 8-ball pool matches in Pool Payday. The excitement level to play against another person in real-time is hard to describe, especially in Pool, and it takes a lot of practice to learn pool gameplay skills and master the tricks of the game.


Can you beat MVSklz? Download Bubble Shooter Arena TODAY! 

Achieving growth starts with change.

By Skillz on August 31, 2022 in Blog Posts

Skillz has undergone tremendous change in the past few months as we gear up toward profitable growth. We have streamlined our workforce, restructured our organization, and made tough decisions for the health of our company. At times like these, I remind myself that adversity can be a powerful force for positive change.

Our business is based on competition for a reason. Competition holds the power to ignite what’s possible in all of us. This competitive spirit is an inseparable part of Skillz, and what has been the guiding light behind our incredible growth and recognition to date. This is not the first time Skillz has faced uphill challenges, but through focus, grit, and leadership, we have always won against all odds. But winning comes at a cost, and achieving excellence is an iterative process. We are fully focused on winning with excellence, which requires us to make these tough decisions along the way.

Despite this time of change, we remain dedicated to our mission. We exist to bring out the best in everyone through competition. That includes bringing out the best of Skillz for our shareholders, developers, players, and employees. We acknowledge our role in unlocking economic opportunity for those who depend on us. We take this responsibility very seriously as we stride toward fixing our present and building our future. When we went public, we had enviable payback periods of six months lifetime value (LTV) over customer acquisition cost (CAC) — an incredible number for any company. We are not delivering on that metric today and we are working to change that. There is no reason we can’t get there again and investors will be thrilled when we do.

As you may know, I have come back to lead the product organization in order to correct some of the missteps we have made. With a great team behind me, I am energized by our roadmap and the progress we are already making on our platform. Along with my renewed engagement with the product, we have brought in Jason Roswig as our President and CFO. Jason brings years of performance-driven success to Skillz, and his focus will be on right-sizing our organization to ensure we capitalize on the incredible platform that we have built over the last ten years. Jason is overseeing the entire Skillz workforce to ensure we have the right people to get us to the next level of maturity. Together, we are making hard decisions at every level of the organization, including our Board of Directors.

Recently, we parted ways with a number of Board members. We are grateful for their contributions and for supporting our journey. To ignite the next chapter of Skillz, we are excited to welcome our new Board members who come with a different perspective on our potential and the path forward. These include Seth Schorr, who brings extensive experience in interactive gaming and entertainment, as well as Henry Hoffman, who will apply his deep financial services expertise to Skillz.

Despite these challenging times, I believe we will come out stronger. We’ve learned some hard lessons, but remain convinced in the power and potential of our platform. We are humbled, committed, and eager to return shareholder value and hopeful for the same level of commitment from all of you. 

Game on!

 

Andrew Paradise

CEO

Skillz Named One of Parity.Org’s 2022 Best Companies for Women to Advance

By Skillz on July 29, 2022 in Blog Posts

Today, Skillz was named to the 2022 Parity.Org Best Companies for Women to Advance™ List for the second year in a row – an important achievement of which we’re incredibly proud. 

The ParityLIST, established by Parity.org, recognizes organizations creating a culture and conditions in which women can rise through recruiting, promotion, compensation practices, leadership representation, and other practices that collectively help companies achieve gender parity. Organizations with this recognition have benefits, programs, and policies that ensure women have significant opportunities to advance their careers, and which foster an equitable work environment.

Parity.org is the leading organization working to eliminate the racial and gender gap in corporate leadership, where the gap is the widest. Founded in 2017, Parity.org’s mission is to create parity in leadership for women, and it expanded that focus in 2020 to include people of color. The organization takes a pragmatic approach, offering simple but proven tools to help organizations not only reach – but sustain – parity in leadership. 

As the leading mobile games platform dedicated to bringing out the best in everyone through competition, equality is core to who we are. Today, Skillz is the home of competition for all. Like our namesake, we believe that everyone has winning skills, regardless of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other identity. Our passion for equality also extends to our company culture. Forging and sustaining an environment where all people can thrive is paramount to our mission, values, and growth. 

“For me personally, and for Skillz as a whole, gender parity is essential, not just an initiative. It’s an ongoing journey that requires constant commitment, learning, and openness to change,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and Founder of Skillz. “It’s how we attract the best people, develop the best teams, and produce the best work. Building for communities means we must be a reflection of those communities.”

The 2022 ParityLIST honorees share a number of policies and practices in common, such as:

  • Flexible working hours (98%)
  • Paid sick leave for both full-time (100%) and part-time (79%) employees
  • Equal family leave for both men and women (84%)
  • A culture of encouraging men to take their full family leave (95%) 

In addition, 91% require recruiters to include at least one qualified woman on every candidate slate for executive positions reporting to the CEO, and virtually every company has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment while regularly communicating its gender-equality values to employees. 

Skillz innovates across the gaming industry by making esports accessible to everyone. Thus, fairness, accessibility, and inclusion are critical elements of our ideals and identity – which is why we’re proud to share that Skillz follows all of these practices. 

“The pandemic created a substantial setback for female advancement in the workforce,” said Cathrin Stickney, Parity.Org Founder and CEO. “But the companies that made this year’s ParityLIST not only got back on track, they sped past all expectations. I could not be happier to report that 70% of this year’s honorees have an Executive Team that is 30%+ women, 77% have a VP team that is 30%+ women, and 72% have reached pay parity!” 

“The parity problem is complex – but it’s not insurmountable,” said Stickney. “The extraordinary performance of this year’s honorees proves that a genuine commitment and focus, coupled with the right tools, measures, and practices, will absolutely move the needle toward fairness.”

For more details on this recognition, visit: www.parity.org/best-companies 

For more information on why Skillz was named a “Best Company for Women to Advance” and how to join our mission to bring out the best in everyone through competition, visit the Skillz careers page or follow us on LinkedIn.

The Meaning Behind Our Mission

By Skillz on July 14, 2022 in Blog Posts

Every great company hits a pivotal moment when it needs to define what it stands for and why the world should care. As Skillz turned ten this year, this inflection point became imminent as we continue building our future as an industry leader and pioneer in our space.

When Skillz was founded in 2012, we were motivated by the fact that gamers could not compete in the same way that athletes do in physical sports, despite the growing popularity of video games. Back then, the term “esports” was virtually unknown – but we were ready to take on the challenge to bring competitive gaming to everyone. 

Our passion for leveling the playing field also extends to mobile game developers. Since our inception, we have empowered developers to create thriving businesses, while in return providing players everywhere with access to fair, fun, and meaningful competition.

To grow our business within mobile gaming and beyond, we needed to unearth further meaning in competition and why it matters. 

As human beings, we are all wired to compete. It’s how we survive and thrive on Earth.
You could say we are called the human race for a reason – from the Olympics to the World Cup, from the race to the moon to the race to Mars. The reason we have vaccines, electric cars, and even better burgers has been, in one way or another, a product of competition. It’s a vital and healthy part of our ecosystem. Without it, we have no context of where we stand and how far we can go.

While competition is so innate to human progress, the concept of competition is filled with tension. For many, competition means rivalry – a zero sum game where there is only one winner. But if we dig deeper into the original meaning of competition (in Latin, “competere”) it actually means to “strive together.” This energy exchange we obtain from competition is a critical part of our society – in business, fashion, music, sports, education, healthcare, and gaming.

This led us to an untapped, yet powerful insight: 

Competition is not a game of win or lose. It’s the force that ignites what’s possible in all of us.

We at Skillz believe that everyone has winning skills, regardless of age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other identity. Our player base is a reflection of this truth. Our role in the world is to create the home of competition, where everyone deserves to achieve an epic win – something that only a few of us may get to experience in the physical world. For that reason, mobile gaming is so much more than a form of entertainment – rather, it is a force of ACHIEVEMENT.

This belief inspired our new, evolved mission:

Bring out the best in everyone through competition.”

With our mission, we are energized by maximizing human achievement across four pillars of commitment:

  • Build Community:
    Grow inclusive, engaged communities that inspire self-expression and connection 
  • Drive Commerce:
    Unlock economic opportunity for developers and premium experiences for players
  • Nurture Champions:
    Guide, educate, and inspire to help players and developers level up 
  • Power Change:
    Help transform lives through fair, inclusive practices

Our new logo and brand identity is a visual expression of our mission. Our colors champion “blue” vs. “red” as timeless elements of head-to-head competition. Our symbol expresses two equal sides coming together in fair competition to achieve something new, while our logo has been updated to be more inclusive of our growing community.

We’re on a journey to build the home of competition for all, and we’re incredibly excited about our path forward. Together, we’ll enable game developers to share their art with the world, empower players to unleash their inner champion, and ultimately, help everyone achieve their potential. 

Join us.

Honoring the Freedom to Choose

By Skillz on June 25, 2022 in Blog Posts

Dear Skillzians, 

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a major decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, removing the U.S. Constitutional right to abortion that was upheld for almost half a century. 

This decision has implications on a profound level. Not only does it bring significant uncertainty and complexities from both a legal and policy perspective as we navigate various laws across the U.S., but also on a personal level – questioning the very core of our rights and freedom of choice.

With a mission to maximize human achievement through competition, we generally, as a company, seek not to engage in political issues. However in this case, we see it as a healthcare issue, and a basic human right we must address.

At Skillz, we believe that access to healthcare and protection of reproductive rights is critical to our humanity, our communities, our industry, our economy – and most importantly, our progress toward equality. With our value of honor in mind, I am deeply passionate about supporting the diverse perspectives and needs of our people. 

In light of this decision, we’ll be expanding our benefits offerings for U.S. full-time Skillzians, effective immediately. We will continue to support equitable access to healthcare, which is why we will do everything we can under the law to support you – our Skillzians – in accessing healthcare regardless of where you live across the U.S. Specifically, we’re updating our benefits policy to cover travel expenses for employees who choose to have an abortion and live in a state where they are prohibited.

We’re committed to taking care of our Skillzians, and bringing out the best in everyone. We believe that achieving your best starts with the freedom of choice.

Andrew Paradise

CEO, Skillz Inc. 

Celebrating 10 Years at Skillz

By Skillz on March 28, 2022 in Blog Posts

Skillz was officially founded on March 28, 2012 by a small team working in an attic in Boston, at a time when the term “esports” was virtually unknown. Since then, we’ve been on a journey to shape the future of competition. We’ve come a long way in those 10 years, and have grown from that small attic, to the #1 fastest-growing company in America on the Inc 5000, to the first publicly traded mobile esports platform. 

Some highlights over the last decade include: 

  • 2012: 
    • Founded Lookout Gaming – our stealth mode name for Skillz Inc. 
    • Secured seed funding of $500,000
    • Established our first office in Boston, MA
  • 2013: 
    • Launched our proprietary platform
    • Secured Series A funding of $9.8 million
    • Established our office in San Francisco, CA

  • 2014: 
    • Launched our Skillz loyalty program, called Ticketz
    • Reached $4 million in gross marketplace volume
  • 2015:
    • Secured Series B funding of $15 million 
    • Reached $20 million in gross marketplace volume 
  • 2016:
    • Launched bracketed tournaments on our platform
    • Moved our Boston team to San Francisco, creating our HQ
  • 2017:
    • Recognized as the #1 fastest-growing company on the Inc. 5000
    • Became first esports company named to the CNBC Disruptor 50
    • Secured Series C funding of $16.5 million
    • Reached $100 million in gross marketplace volume

  • 2018:
    • Recognized as one of Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Companies
    • Named to the Entrepreneur 360
    • Secured Series D funding of $25 million
  • 2019:
    • Recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies
    • Secured Series D-1 funding of $25 million 
    • Established our office in Portland, OR
    • Reached $500 million in gross marketplace volume
  • 2020:
    • Established our office in Las Vegas, NV
    • Reached $1 billion in gross marketplace volume 
    • Went public on the New York Stock Exchange

  • 2021: 
    • Acquired Aarki, establishing ourselves as a truly global company
    • Recognized as one of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators, 
    • Named to Parity.org’s Best Companies for Women to Advance
    • Awarded San Francisco Business Times’ Best Places to Work in the Bay Area
    • Reached $2 billion in gross marketplace volume 

Now here we are in 2022. We’ve already accomplished big milestones like announcing our new partnership with UFC and the finalists for our NFL Developer Challenge – and it’s only March! 

We wouldn’t be able to celebrate our 10th anniversary without the hard work and dedication of our employees, developer partners, player community, investors, and many more. We’re proud to share each milestone with everyone that has helped us level up along the way. Together, we are building something incredible through our competitive mobile games platform, running billions of esports tournaments for millions of players each year. 

While our technology and team have grown a lot over the years, the mission has remained the same. The Skillz platform enables mobile game studios to create successful businesses, so they can focus on what they do best – building great games. 

Today we celebrate the achievements of the past, but we also set our sights on the possibilities of the future. Back in 2012 the mobile gaming market was $8 billion, today it’s more than $90 billion, and in 2025 it’s projected to exceed $160 billion.

Much like mobile games, Skillz has been on a rapid growth trajectory that’s still in its early days. In the short time that’s passed since we first set out on this ambitious path, we’ve created an innovative platform that provides a better experience for users and enables better monetization for developers.

It’s a massive opportunity and we’re still in the early innings – we can’t wait to show you what that future holds.