On 6th August, esports publication Esports Insider made a list of some of the major investments, mergers, and acquisitions of the esports world in July 2020. And if anything is a reflection of how the industry is growing at full tilt, it’s the $25.3 million in disclosed investments that were raised in just one month.
Just about everyone with investment power has shown interest in the industry, from venture capitalists readily devoting millions of dollars to celebrities like Jay Chou setting up their very own esports teams even in smaller countries like Singapore.
Let’s get into it.
In its Series A investment round, the French organisation MCES raised €2.5 million (approximately SGD$4 million). The round was funded by Lab Five, Région Sud Investissement, and over 20 other angel investors. The team has its players spread over the hot favourite games of Fortnite, League of Legends, FIFA, Clash of Clans, and Virtual Regatta.
It hasn’t been just esports teams that have raked in the investments. In an investment led by Dundee Venture Capital, Mission Control, a company that builds rec league esports programs, raised USD$1.75 million (SGD$2.4 million). Some of the contributors in the raised round include M25, Cultivation Capital, and MATH Venture Partners. Mission Control’s work involves building and integrating esports programmes into schools, community centres, and companies.
Mobalytics, a California based e-sports analytics startup, also raised a whopping USD$11.25 million (SGD$15.4 million) for its operations advising players on Riot Games’ League of Legends and VALORANT. Close to seven million players reportedly use the platform for guidance and information on real-time gameplay for the aforementioned games.
Luckbox, an esports betting platform also found investors willing to place sizeable gambles. The company’s round of financing closed at CAD$5 million (SGD$5.1 million), ahead of its listing on TSX Venture Exchange under a ticker that was anticipated to be approved.
Coming back to esports teams, Veloce Esports reportedly raised £4 million (SGD$7.1 million), according to The Financial Times. The round includes the current co-chairman of Veloce Racing, which will merge with Veloce Esports in time to come.
Resolve Esports from the United Kingdom secured a strong investment from Esports Global, which is a subsidiary investment group owned by International Group Management (IGM). Fronted by Chester King and David Martin, the investment will help Resolve recruit new esports teams while offering online coaching. It will also contribute to the creation of a physical esports centre in London, for the training and development of new players.
A three-year-old national competition, Polish Esports League garnered an investment with undisclosed financial terms from former NBA basketball player Marcin Gortat.
Kpop stud Sehun (real name Oh Se-hun) from the boy group EXO also wanted a piece of the pie. He became a shareholder in SeolHaeOne Price, a Korean organisation to which APE Sports is a parent company. APE Sports also announced that half of EXO would join the organisation.
The Founder and CEO of iSportconnect Sree Varma became a minority investor to the British grassroots esports organisation LDN UTD. The financial terms of the investment are undisclosed.
Joining the ranks of sportsmen investing in esports is Mitch Marner, a professional Ice Hockey player who joined the ownership group of OverActive Media, a Canadian organisation. OverActive Media announced that Marner would become an ambassador and an integral part of brand building.
GAME’s Belong gaming arena division was procured by Vindex, an esports infrastructure company. Vindex launched in October 2019, following a Series S raise of USD$60 million (SGD$82.3 million).
The holding company of online sportsbook and casino operator Argyll Entertainment was acquired by Esports Entertainment Group (EEG), a betting enterprise. Argyll Entertainment carries a UK Gambling Commission and Irish Revenue Commissioners license, as it operates in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. Part of the investment also includes Argyll’s three-year-old flagship gambling brand SportNation.bet.