Esports investment in February 2021 dropped significantly year-over-year (YoY) but still proves that the industry, despite recent hardships, inspires confidence in the future.
According to Esports Insider’s calculations, around $28.8m (~£20.6m) of disclosed esports investment was committed in February 2021. Nearly half of that money — $11.5m (~£8.23m) — was raised by Nerd Street Gamers in its latest funding round.
February highlight: Danish esports org North was discontinued last month, raising questions about investing in teams in 2021. What does North’s failure to find additional investment tell us about the org? What do investors look for in teams? How has investor sentiment changed in the last few years?
If you missed it, check out: The state of the funding market for esports organisations in 2021.
Esports investment report, February 2021
Nerd Street Gamers raises $11.5m in additional funding
Esports infrastructure company Nerd Street Gamers (NSG) has raised $11.5m (£8.48m) in additional funding, with the round led by venture capital firm Founders Fund.
Despite the closure of NSG’s Localhost facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company still achieved growth thanks to the firm’s digital offerings which ranged from Nerd Street+, the company’s subscription service, to hosting a number of online tournaments.
Anzu raises $9m in latest funding round
In-game advertising platform Anzu has raised $9m (£6.56m) in its latest round of funding, with the likes of BITKRAFT Ventures and Sony Innovation Fund becoming investors.
The funding round was co-led by BITKRAFT Ventures and HBSE Ventures. Other participants in the funding round include marketing services organisation WPP, The Chicago Cubs, and Alumni Ventures Group, and the Sony Innovation Fund. Riot Games Co-founder Marc Merrill and former Co-CEO Dylan Collins were also revealed as investors.
3D Aim Trainer secures €1m in latest funding round
FPS practice and training tool 3D Aim Trainer has raised a total of €1m (~£881,224) in its latest round of funding, with the likes of Ron Doornink, the former CEO/President of Activision, and Freshman Fund investing in the company.
According to the release, the investment will be used to expand the company’s team and bring its product to other platforms.
This is the second time that Freshman has invested in 3D Aim Trainer, after funding the esports company’s initial angel round back in July 2019. The new investment round was led by Freshman.
eFuse raises $6M from investors including pro athletes
Esports social media startup eFuse has raised $6m (~£4.28m) in post-seed capital funding. The round was led by the Ohio Innovation Fund and a number of professional athletes.
Notable athlete investors include Odell Beckham, Jr. and Denzel Ward of the Cleveland Browns, Seth Curry of the Philadelphia 76ers, Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys, and Chase Winovich of the New England Patriots.
This follows the startup’s initial investment round of $2.3m (~£1.65m) in November 2019, which was also led by the Ohio Innovation Fund.
Dire Wolves acquires Avant Gaming, enters CS:GO
Oceanic esports organisation Dire Wolves has announced the acquisition of Avant Gaming. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
Both Avant Gaming and Dire Wolves were recently announced as teams competing in the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO) for its inaugural season. Following the acquisition, Avant Gaming’s place has been sold to Australian organisation PEACE.
Esports Entertainment Group closes $30m registered direct offering
Malta-based online gambling company Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (EEG) announced that it has closed its registered direct offering of common stock, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds of $30m (~£21.64m).
EEG sold 2m shares of its common stock at a price of $15 (£10.81) per share, priced at-the-market under NASDAQ rules.
Esports Entertainment Group became the first esports betting company to launch an initial public offering in April 2020, and its NASDAQ debut generated approximately $2.75m (~£2.18m) in warrants and common stock as of May 31st, 2020.
Omaken Sports acquires Danish organisation Heroic
Omaken Sports has acquired Danish esports organisation Heroic for an undisclosed amount.
The companies aim to create a ‘Nordic powerhouse in esports’, according to a release.
Omaken Sports was founded in 2020 by Norwegian content creator Joachim “Noobwork” Haraldsen. Noobwork recently oversaw the raise of €15m (~£13.05m) to ‘buy into esports’ through the acquisition of Heroic. Both Heroic and Omaken will now operate under the Heroic brand.
ESE Entertainment enters share purchase agreement with World Phoning Group
Entertainment and technology company ESE Entertainment Inc. (ESE) has announced it has entered into a share purchase agreement with World Phoning Group Inc., Encore Telecom Inc., and their two subsidiaries collectively known as WPG.
The agreement will see ESE acquire a 51 percent stake in the business in a bid to further develop its esports offerings.
As per the agreement, all of WPG’s assets will be combined into a newly formed Canadian company known as World Performance Group. Alongside purchasing the outstanding shares, ESE will also invest $750,000 (£539,765) in the company.
Brazilian company Final Level raises £1.14m
Brazilian organisation Final Level has raised $8.5m BRL (~£1.14m) in an investment round led by Brazilian fund Atmos Capital, Outfield Capital and British organisation 1st11.
Final Level was founded in 2018 by the investment group Go4It, businessperson and YouTuber Felipe Neto, and former Brazilian communications firm Rede Globo executive João Pedro Paes Leme.
GGWP Academy raises $350,000 AUD in pre-seed funding round
Australian esports startup GGWP Academy has raised $350,000 AUD (~£196,461) from its pre-seed funding round, featuring an all-female lineup with Eleanor Ventures, Scale Investors, and Working Theory Capital investing in the firm.
According to the release, GGWP Academy looks to help gamers enhance monetisation and engagement in content creation.
ESI Digital Spring | 30-31st March
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