HomeEsports News and AdvancementsJune Investment Recap: More than $500 million raised, Schalke 04 Esports exits LEC and GameSquare Esports acquires Complexity Gaming – ARCHIVE
June Investment Recap: More than $500 million raised, Schalke 04 Esports exits LEC and GameSquare Esports acquires Complexity Gaming – ARCHIVE
July 1, 2021
During June 2021, The Esports Observer tracked 11 investments raised by esports-relevant companies. Disclosed investments amounted to $512.5 million USD, bringing the total sum of disclosed investments in 2021 to $3.5 billion. In addition to the realized investments listed in the article, South Korean game developer holding Krafton – the parent of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer PUBG Corp – filed for a potential $5 billion initial public offering on the Korea Exchange, which is expected to be completed in mid-July.
Financial terms were not disclosed for all deals highlighted in this article.
Schalke 04’s decision to sell its most valuable esports asset was heavily influenced by the financial challenges its core soccer business is facing due to the economic damages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the club’s relegation from the first German soccer league.
The Schalke 04 brand will remain a part of the LEC until the end of the 2021 season, with Team BDS debuting in Spring 2022.
The acquisition was an all-stock transaction as part of which the former Complexity Gaming owners received approximately 83.3 million common shares of GameSquare (representing 47% of GameSquare’s outstanding sahares), valuing Complexity Gaming at roughly $33 million CAD ($26.7 million).
Following the acquisition, Jason Lake continues as CEO of Complexity and was appointed as GameSquare’s global head of esports. Moreover, Jerry Jones Family-owned Dallas Cowboys’ CEO Thomas Walker and Goff capital President Travis Goff join the board of GameSquare.
Furthermore, GameSquare raised an additional $13.7 million. Half of the sum comes from the Jerry Jones Family and Goff Capital, while the other half comes from a syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuity.
German esports and gaming marketing agency Freaks 4U Gaming acquired ProGaming Italia, an esports and gaming event organizer in Italy and Switzerland, from Game.Fin. As part of the acquisition, Freaks 4U Gaming acquired all shares of ProGaming Italia held by majority shareholder Game.Fin, the holding company owned by Schmidhofer. In return, Game.Fin has acquired shares of Freaks 4U Gaming and is now a minority shareholder. Freaks 4U did not disclose whether Game.Fin received any additional compensation. Schmidhofer will continue to lead ProGaming Italia as CEO, while also assuming a vice president position as part of the Freaks 4U Gaming leadership team.
NYSE-listed information technology company HP completed its acquisition of gaming peripherals brand HyperX. The company paid HyperX’s previous parent company Kingston Technology an acquisition compensation of $425 million. HP, which has built its own gaming brand – OMEN by HP – in recent years, stated that the HyperX acquisition “supports its strategy to drive growth in its personal systems business, where gaming and peripherals are attractive segments.”
Mumbai-based gaming live streaming platform startup Loco Interactive raised a $9 million seed financing round led by South Korean game developer holding company Krafton to upgrade its technology and content. Further investors that participated in the round include Indian gaming media fund Lumikai, Hiro Capital, 3one4 Capital, and Axilor Ventures.
Chinese esports solutions provider VSPN (Versus Programming Network) secured a multi-million dollar Series B2 funding round, led by Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia (MSPEA). The funding will be utilized for the expansion of VSPN’s global business and the development of the esports content matrix around VSPN+. Leading up to its B2 investment round, VSPN raised close to $100 million in its Series B financing round led by Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings before raising an additional $60 million Series B+ funding round led by Prospect Avenue Capital.
Dallas, Texas-headquartered Envy Gaming made an undisclosed investment in Mason Bridge-backed streaming tool developer Botisimo. As part of the investment, Envy Gaming CEO Adam Rymer joined Botisimo as a board member. Furthermore, Envy will use Botisimo’s technology for its esports players, streamers, and content creators.