Former chief executive of eBay Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., Meg Whitman has invested in Immortals LLC, she confirmed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Whitman also confirmed that she has taken a seat on the board at the organisation which she stated has ‘ambitions to become the first billion dollar esports business’.
— Meg Whitman (@MegWhitman) July 24, 2018
Whitman is considered one of the most influential businesswomen in the United States. Known for her work with eBay, Whitman decided to invest in the LA-based organisation. This is her first contact with the industry but she’s no stranger to the effect esports have on society.
Whitman said: “I’ve seen very few things capture people’s imagination like this.”
Founded in 2015, Immortals is a global esports organisation with a presence across different titles and leagues, including the much-publicised franchised Overwatch League with Los Angeles Valiant. According to a source, the value of the organisation surpassed the $100m (£76m) helped in part by Whitman’s investment. The exact amount remains unclear since Whitman is joining the organisation outside of the company’s fundraising timetable.
Immortals’ CEO and Founder, Noah Whinston, said of the news: “I’ve always been very interested in what she did at eBay, which was to take a much more niche community-oriented site and turn it into something mainstream”
Since the announcement, Whitman published a statement in LinkedIn where she said: “The team is focused on building a sustainable and diversified esports business that goes beyond team operations and has ambitions to become the first billion dollar global esports business.”
Immortals are now receiving support from different sources. The team has signed deals with Michael Milken’s family office, Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. and AEG, the company founded by billionaire Philip Anschutz. The backing comes after the organisation was criticised early this year when it failed to land a franchise at the North America League of Legends Championship Series.
Esports Insider says: Endless resources are useless in the hands of unprepared people. The involvement of the likes of Whitman is exactly what the industry needs in order to keep growing. Despite the Wall Street Journal’s reference to Immortals as ‘an esports startup’, the team is likely considered beyond that point right now with a spot in the Overwatch League, the acquisition of MIBR, and sponsors on board including Tinder, Betway, K-Swiss and more.