Start-up gaming company, TreyBro, caught the attention of Dragons’ Den Gavin Duffy on the RTE programme, when the entrepreneur and communications consultant offered €60,000 investment for a 22.5% stake in the 12-month old company.
The company was founded by Waterford twins Daniel and Michael Treyvaud and Tipperary native Patrick O’ Callaghan in April 2015. The avid gaming enthusiasts turned mobile application developers created TreyBro as a way to connect gamers across the globe.
As graduates of Waterford Institute of Technology and University of Limerick respectively, Daniel, Michael and Patrick worked in Cyber Forensics at PwC in Dublin. Whilst there they learned how to solve problems with creative solutions. Combining their love of gaming and a wealth of IT knowledge, TreyBro was born; a free mobile application designed to discover and connect gamers based on what they are playing and match their skill level across all the top gaming platforms, such as PC, Xbox Live, Sony PSN and Steam.
Co- Founder Patrick O’ Callaghan explains that there are approximately 1.8 billion gamers in the world with a spend of $91.5 billion directly linked to the gaming industry in 2015, citing a recent report from VentureBeat.
“TreyBro is to gaming as Tinder is to dating. Effectively, we are gaming match-makers. TreyBro matches players with gamers who have a similar skill level, but maybe different strengths.”
“The primary issue with multiplayer co-operative and competitive games was that up to now, match-making was quite ineffective at connecting like-minded players. The reality is that matchmaking systems are designed to quickly fill a gaming server with entirely random players. There is no focus on the end-user experience. The result is either total defeat or an unsatisfying victory. The relationships between the gamers are non-existent.”
Patrick adds, “An analogy we like to use is, imagine eleven goalkeepers turn up to play for the same team, the game is unbalanced and bereft of a whole myriad of skillsets – the chances of winning the league are slim! However, TreyBro will source the players that complement a gamer’s particular skill set.”
Regarding negotiating with a ‘Dragon’, Patrick agreed it was a tough but ultimately rewarding experience. “There was several reasons we were delighted Gavin chose to invest in us. Principally because he seemed enthusiastic about us and that enthusiasm was infectious. He is someone I see TreyBro working well with and we are more excited than ever about changing the gaming scene forever.”
Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford Local Enterprise Office commented on the start-up’s growth. “It’s great to see such enthusiasm by these three young men in focusing the spotlight on Ireland as an innovative hub for technical excellence. Having already received global exposure at last year’s RISE Conference and GamesCom in Germany, undoubtedly the future of gaming technology is assured. With plans to expand and create employment in the area, TreyBro is the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirt that is flourishing in the South East and one that Waterford Local Enterprise Office is proud to support.”
At just 12 months old, TreyBro, which operates from the South East BIC incubation centre, has received many awards and plaudits. In October, 2015, co-founder Michael Treyvaud scooped the Best Start Up Award in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) Waterford final with a prize fund of €20,000. Also, as part of Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers program, TreyBro was awarded $10,000 worth of Amazon Web Services to support the site’s hosting. The company has availed of the FbStart programme, which provided a package of free services including hosting and advertising support.