London-based esports organization Guild Esports (formerly The Lords Esports) staged its global launch, announced former professional soccer player David Beckham as co-owner, and is targeting a £25M GBP ($31M USD) financing round, which would put the organization at a £100M ($124.2M) valuation. Amongst the participants in the financing round are DB Ventures and Blue Star Capital.
Blue Star Capital initially invested £150K ($186K) into The Lords Esports just after the company was founded in late 2019, acquiring an 11.7% stake. Around the same time, Blue Star Capital made investments of approximately £150K ($186K) each into five more esports companies, including Singapore-based Dynasty Esports, Indian Googly Esports, and Canadian The Drops Esports.
As part of Guild Esports’ ongoing financing round, Blue Star Capital made use of its anti-dilution rights attached to its initial investment and invested a further £480K ($596K) to maintain its 11.7% shareholding stake. The follow-up investment was executed at a price of £0.06 per share, compared to £0.01 per share in the initial investment.
DB Ventures acquired a “significant but minority stake” in Guild Esports for an undisclosed amount. DB Ventures is owned by its parent company Beckham Brand Holdings, which is controlled equally by David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, and Footwork Productions, which in turn is majority-owned by David Beckham. The company structure controls several of the family’s businesses, including Beckham’s share in the Major League Soccer expansion team Inter Miami CF.
Guild Esports was founded in September 2019 as The Lords Esports and acquired esports organization Cyqiq Gaming later that year. As part of the organizations’ official launch, Guild established a new management team, including Carleton Curtis, who will be serving as executive chairman of the company. Curtis previously held senior esports roles at Activision Blizzard and Red Bull.
In an announcement on Thursday, the organization shared its intentions of building a UK-based talent pipeline for esports players based on the traditional sports academy model. Furthermore, it plans to enter several esports disciplines over the next 12 months, with its inaugural team debuting in fall 2020 competing in titles including Rocket League, FIFA 20, and Fortnite.
Additionally, the company announced that it partnered with local artist Fergus Purcell to design the Guild Esports brand and develop a lifestyle apparel line.
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