In the course of the month of March 2021, The Esports Observer tracked 23 investments raised by esports-relevant firms. Disclosed investments amounted to $233M USD, bringing the entire sum of disclosed investments in 2021 to $1.9B.
Along with a number of vital investments, together with Overwolf’s $50M+ and Envy Gaming’s 40M Sequence C financing rounds, a number of non-public placement offers by Toronto Inventory Alternate Enterprise Alternate listed esports firms, and a number of seed spherical investments, a few main offers within the works got here to gentle through the month. Super League Gaming is in the process of acquiring live streaming technology platform Mobcrush at a transaction value likely to exceed $60M and Microsoft is in talks to acquire gaming voice and community chat platform Discord for more than $10B.
Monetary phrases weren’t disclosed for all offers highlighted on this article.
Overwolf Raises $50M+ Sequence C
In-game apps platform Overwolf raised a $52.5M Series C financing round co-led by Griffin Gaming Partners and Insight Partners with participation from additional traders together with Ubisoft, Warner Music Group, Immortals Gaming Club investor Meg Whitman, Gen.G co-founder Kevin Chou, and present traders Marker, Intel Capital and Liberty Media.
Tel Aviv-based Overwolf, revealed that it intends to make use of the funding to “increase growth firepower devoted to creating providers for creators and to create extra alternatives and automobiles to put money into, and with, the in-game creator group.”
Envy Gaming Secures Funding from a Publicly-Traded Teleimaginative and prescient Broadcasting Firm
Dallas-headquartered esports group Envy Gaming raised a $40M Series C investment round led by American New York Inventory Alternate (NYSE) listed broadcasting firm Grey Tv. Because the lead investor, Grey Tv dedicated $28.5M.
Grey Tv be a part ofs Envy Gaming’s possession group, together with former skilled Call of Duty participant and Envy Gaming founder Mike Rufail, musician Austin Richard “Publish Malone” Publish, Texas Rangers minority proprietor Ken Hersh, and several other Texas households and nationwide traders.
PUBG Developer Invests in Indian Esports Agency Nodwin Gaming
India-based esports and gaming agency Nodwin Gaming secured a $22.5M (₹1.64B INR) investment from South Korean game developer and publisher Krafton Inc., which is finest often known as the proprietor and writer of PUBG and PUBG Mobile.
The funding will likely be used to scale up in areas the place it already has a foothold and increase past these borders. These areas embrace South Asia, Africa, and the Center East (with a deal with persevering with to work from Dubai). It would additionally use the funds to proceed to construct out infrastructure and make enhancements in its present operations, and assist expertise.
Past increasing its footprint in and round areas the place it already has a presence, Nodwin co-founder and managing director Akshat Rathee informed The Esports Observer that this funding will permit the corporate to contemplate creating franchising fashions and to contemplate constructing out esports round “actual sports activities” equivalent to Cricket and soccer in India and different areas the place the sports activities are tremendous common.
Funding for New Sport Studios
Theorycraft Games, a new game development company founded by Riot Games, Bungie, Blizzard, and Valve Software veterans, raised $37.5M in a Series A funding round led by NetEase. Theorycraft will use the brand new capital in a recruitment push to fill out a group engaged on “a community-driven participant versus participant (PvP) sport accessible throughout a number of platforms.”
Frost Giant Studios secured a $5M investment round for the continued growth of an impartial actual time technique sport (RTS). The funding noticed participation from Korean enterprise capital fund Kona Enterprise Companions in addition to World Founders Capital, RXBAR co-founder Jared Smith, and sport backend entrepreneur Eden Chen.
Sport Studio Acquisitions
Nasdaq-traded racing sport developer, writer, and esports ecosystem supplier Motorsport Games fully acquired rFactor 2 developer Studio397 from Luminis International for $16M. The Netherland-based Studio397 is anticipated to retain its identify, branding, and present growth and administration group following the acquisition’s completion. Moreover, Motorsport Video games plans to make the most of its assets and experience to boost rFactor 2, amongst different issues by utilizing Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and layering in further parts Motorsport Video games has developed during the last two years.
ByteDance, the owner of short video apps TikTok and Douyin, acquired Shanghai-based game developer and publisher Moonton by its gaming enterprise subsidiary NUVERSE. The corporate which is finest recognized for its cell multiplayer on-line battler area (MOBA) sport Cellular Legends, will stay an impartial developer whereas utilizing ByteDance’s useful resource to increase abroad.
Fortnite and Unreal Engine maker Epic Games acquired Tonic Games Group, the builders of the favored battle royale get together sport, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Tonic Video games joins Epic’s different wholly-owned studios together with Rocket League developer Psyonix, Chair Leisure, and Individuals Can Fly.
Toronto Inventory Alternate Enterprise Alternate (TSXV) listed Engine Media Holdings closed a $15M private placement. Engine Media owns a number of esports, gaming and information belongings, together with gaming video distribution analytics platform Stream Hatchet, racing sport developer Eden Games, and esports match platform UMG. The group’s CEO Louis Schwartz revealed in a launch that the brand new capital will likely be used to take a position into the corporate’s subsidiaries and capitalize on “quite a few progress alternatives in entrance of us.”
GameSquare Esports, the Canadian Securities Exchange-listed parent company of esports agency Code Red Esports, completed its acquisition of Canadian esports organization Reciprocity. GameSquare totally acquired Reciprocity for a consideration of roughly $14.44M CAD ($11.57M). Moreover, the completion of the Reciprocity acquisition glad the escrow launch situations of a beforehand introduced upsized purchased deal non-public placement raised by GameSquare. Subsequently, the corporate bought entry to the $7M CAD ($5.6M) raised.
Toronto Inventory Alternate Enterprise Alternate (TSXV) listed Real Luck Group, the parent company of esports betting platform Luckbox, raised approximately $17.8M CAD ($14.1M) in an oversubscribed private placement deal. The corporate intends to make use of the non-public placement web proceeds for working capital and normal company functions equivalent to investing in its present group and scaling person acquisition.
Seed Spherical Investments
Swiss esports group Ovation eSports AG raised a seed round investment from twin brothers Maurice and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus in the direction of progress and enlargement. The Louis-Dreyfus brothers, who have been born in 1997, are members of the French Louis-Dreyfus household and kids to the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, a former CEO of adidas and majority shareholder of the French soccer membership Olympique de Marseille. In February, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus acquired a majority stake within the English third-tier soccer membership Sunderland A.F.C.
San Francisco-based cell gaming platform firm Ryu Games raised a $2.3M seed round led by Velo Companions, Citta Ventures, MGV Capital, INP Capital, Facet Door Ventures, and 500 Startups. The startup intends to make use of the capital infusion to speed up the expansion of its cell money match gaming platform.
Tech startup 1v1Me raised a $2M pre-seed financing round to launch its on-line gaming wagering platform from traders, together with On Deck, AngelList Entry Fund, Sterling.VC, Lightshed Ventures, and BettorCapital. The startup was based final 12 months by Anthony Geranio and Alexander Emmanuel, who met working at Skillshare, impressed by their buddies enjoying video video games for cash utilizing a whiteboard for stats and leaderboard monitoring through the COVID-19 pandemic.
California-based tech startup Esports GG Inc, the developer of interactive esports and gaming fan platform Group.GG, secured a $610K pre-seed funding spherical from WePlay Esports, QPDigital, and personal traders. The funding will likely be used to increase into the North American market and additional develop the Group.GG platform.
Teneriffe-based tech startup Teide Innovation Applied sciences, the developer of esports coaching solutions eStragy, closed a €84K EUR ($99K) pre-seed funding spherical led by enterprise angel Hugo Borges de Sousa. The startup intends to make use of the funding proceeds to strenghten its monetary construction for its official launch in Could.
The annual preventing sport tournament model Evo got acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment and RTS, a brand new esports enterprise backed by a bunch of traders together with leisure firm Endeavor, by a three way partnership partnership.
Chinese language esports options firm VSPN (Versus Programming Network) acquired Chinese live streaming talent agency Famulei. Following the acquisition, Famulei will function as an impartial model underneath VSPN, working in stay streaming expertise administration, advertising and marketing sponsorship, licensing, and e-commerce operations. Within the Chinese language esports stay streaming enterprise, Famulei has partnered with T1 Leisure & Sports activities, Workforce Liquid, and Gen.G Esports, in addition to well-known esports gamers and streamer Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, Samu “Sambty” Kauppinen, and Júlia “Mayumi” Nakamura.
Gaming and esports leisure and media firm ReKTGlobal acquired the social media monetization and talent development company TalentX Entertainment. Beforehand, ReKTGlobal had created a joint venture with TalentX as its expertise administration arm as a separate entity. The merger now brings them collectively underneath the identical possession group.
California-based interactive stay streaming platform Maestro Interactive secured a $15M Series B financing round from traders together with NetEase, Sony Music Leisure, Acronym Enterprise Capital, Stadia Ventures, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, former Activision Blizzard executives Michael and Amy Morhaime through Moonwell Capital, and several other present traders. Maestro revealed that it intends to make use of the funding proceeds to finance the value-chain enlargement of its merchandise and additional diversify its buyer base. In keeping with a launch, Maestro greater than tripled its income in 2020 and grew its employees fivefold within the final six months.
Brooklyn Nets participant Kevin Durant and Wealthy Kleiman joined Andbox, the New York-based esports group behind the New York Subliners of the Call of Duty League and the New York Excelsior franchise of the Overwatch League, as investors thought their investment vehicle Thirty Five Ventures. As a part of the deal, Durant and Thirty 5 Ventures will look to be lively companions throughout a spread of initiatives between the 2, which can embrace creating new leisure content material and designing new merchandise collections.
San Francisco-based tech startup Lowkey raised a $7M Series A financing round from traders together with Silicon Valley-based enterprise capital agency Andreessen Horowitz. The corporate, which at the moment employs eight folks, was created by Harvard graduate Jesse Zhang to construct a software program resolution to seize gameplay movies on desktop, which could be edited and shared on cell in a social format popularized by apps equivalent to TikTok.
The Indian Gaming League (IGL) dad or mum firm, House of Gaming Pvt. Ltd., raised a $500K strategic investment from digital entertainment company Hungama and movie and digital content production company Hindustan Talkies. The Mumbai-based startup intends to make use of the funding proceeds to purchase new customers and develop further options to extend person engagement on its match platform. Moreover, IGL will use a few of its contemporary capital to launch its Indian Gaming League Championship Cup inaugural season.