Skillz Appoints Laurence Tosi to Board of Directors
Former CFO of Airbnb and Blackstone to Advise Skillz, a Leading Platform for Competitive Mobile Games with Backers including Major Sports Leagues and Franchises
Skillz, the leading marketplace platform for competition-based mobile games, today announced the addition of Laurence Tosi (L.T.) to its board of directors. Tosi is an experienced founder, operator and investor, as well as the Managing Partner of WestCap. Tosi previously served as the long-time CFO of Blackstone, and subsequently of Airbnb, where he also led payments, customer service, and corporate development. He joins Skillz as the company continues its rapid growth, bolstered by recent strategic investment from the National Football League’s investment arm, 32 Equity.
Skillz enables players to discover games and interact with each other through fair and trusted competition. Over 30 million players participate in games created by the Skillz network of 20,000 game developers, with the marketplace platform hosting over 4 million tournament entries a day and distributing $60 million in prizes each month.
“As CFO and a senior leader of Airbnb, another successful marketplace platform, Tosi led the company to profitability and disciplined high growth,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz. “L.T.’s operational expertise will help Skillz continue to rapidly scale, and better serve the community of players and game developers on our platform.”
“Skillz is the disruptive player in the gaming market and is leading a paradigm shift in how mobile games are consumed, developed and monetized,” said Tosi. “With a multi-faceted business model, distinctive for the network effect of its gaming marketplace and proprietary technology platform, Skillz is on track to become one of the great companies of tomorrow.”
Tosi, an experienced technology leader and investor, founded WestCap over 20 years ago. WestCap is a growth-oriented strategic investment firm that partners with visionary businesses that leverage technology to disrupt incumbents and build the leading companies of tomorrow. Tosi and his partners founded or were early investors in 11 market-leading companies that have reached over $1 billion in realized value.
“There are over 2.6 billion mobile gamers worldwide, and Skillz is the largest mobile platform connecting players in competitive game play,” said Kevin LaForce, Vice President, 32 Equity. “We invested in Skillz because we believe the platform is driving the future of mobile entertainment, which is an area the NFL believes is critical to engage our fans in an increasingly connected world.”
“Last year we nearly doubled our player base,” Paradise added. “With backers like the NFL’s 32 Equity, we are aligning with powerful brands that can continue to advance our distribution and reach.”
In addition to WestCap and 32 Equity, top investors backing Skillz include Wildcat Capital, Liberty Global (the largest internet service provider outside the United States), Telstra Ventures (Australia’s largest telecommunications company), and the owners of the multiple sports franchises.
Skillz was founded by Paradise in 2012 with Casey Chafkin, who serves as Chief Revenue Officer. The company is the only technology platform to rank No. 1 on the Inc. 5000, earning recognition as the fastest-growing private company in America. Additionally, the company has earned recognition as one of Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups and claimed a spot on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 twice – something only one-third of all CNBC Disruptors have achieved.
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