Joshua Javaheri, 25
Company: Lucky Day Entertainment Inc.
Title: Chief executive
Business: Mobile gaming app
Location: Beverly Hills
Financials: About $5 million raised to date
What led you to start this business?
I started the company while I was in college. I had, for a long time, wanted to run my own business. As a kid, I was fascinated by the arcade experience and wanted to bring that to the consumer and make it free — without any of the risk of putting up your own money. It’s a new type of mobile gaming that pays out money and sweepstakes to players.
How did you fund it and how are you funding it going forward?
I tapped my personal savings to start the business. Within the first year, an investor put up about $500,000 in seed money. The hope is to fund this organically going forward; right now, we’re supported by advertising from major consumer brands and other mobile gaming companies. But, if necessary, I would be prepared to seek out other sources of financing.
What are the advantages and disadvantages to starting a business in your 20s?
For me it was always about starting a business as soon as I could. That’s the overall advantage. As for getting the business up and running, my age has been a slight positive: People appreciate a fresh mindset.
How has the pandemic impacted your business?
The Covid-19 pandemic forced us to have a more narrow focus on our core goals and mission. Also, we’ve been taking what works and being relentless about implementing it.
Does social responsibility play a role in your business? And what about ensuring your business is not facilitating gambling addiction?
If you think about it, our whole business is all about giving back to the community. We’re trying to do our part to give back to the local community. As for the addiction issue, we cap the number of minutes per game to reduce the amount of gambling addiction. You come in, you get lucky and go back out again to the rest of the day. Very limited amount of time.
Do you feel that your business is particularly tailored to the Los Angeles market?
We could have launched our business anywhere, but one of the advantages of being in Los Angeles is that it’s full of creative minds — those are the type of people we look for to run the business. Also, there’s a great ecosystem here of tech companies and a strong talent pool. It’s better, though, than Silicon Valley where we would have been a small fish in a very big pond.
What do you do for fun?
Pre-Covid, I liked to work out at the gym and go out with friends for dinner and also meeting new people at coffee houses.
Keep reading the 2020 edition of the 20 in Their 20s special report.
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