Philadelphia-based Nerd Street Gamers has announced $12 million (£9.8 million) in funding through its Series A round.
Retail chain Five Below led the round and will build 3,000 square foot Localhost facilities connected to its stores, beginning in 2020.
Five Below was joined by existing investors Comcast, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Capital, and George Miller in the round. The plan to build Localhost venues connected to Five Below will begin with a multi-store pilot that will inform future plans. It’s said that there could be 70 or more locations built over the next few years.
John Fazio, Founder and CEO of Nerd Street Gamers discussed the round: “This round of funding led by Five Below and the opportunity of Localhost locations connected to Five Below stores empowers our vision of a world where esports is accessible and inclusive for everyone. Too few have access to the type of equipment and internet connections required to compete at the top levels, and by addressing that at a national scale we can increase real-life opportunities for millions of people.
“Having one of the fastest growing and most successful retailers support our mission takes us one step closer to making it a reality. This funding will accelerate our technology platform growth, and by working with Five Below, we will be in a position to open venues in every major city in the country, bringing esports to a whole new segment of gamers.”
Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below added: “The partnership with gaming expert Nerd Street Gamers is a unique opportunity to engage with an important and growing community of gamers in many of our locations across the country. Gaming is a trend our younger customers are actively enjoying, and working with Nerd Street Gamers will help us to provide an exciting gaming experience that appeals to our core customers and beyond, while also showcasing our extreme value technology-related products and accessories. We look forward to providing more experiences for our customers to “Let Go & Have Fun!” while engaging with our communities at a deeper level.”
In addition to expanding the amount of Localhost venues it has around the country, Nerd Street Gamers is planning to build 50 large, regional and university-based facilities. Just last month, it announced that it would be launching a Localhost space in the Wells Fargo Center.
Esports Insider says: Nerd Street Gamers has gone from strength in the past year and, by the looks of things, it’s not slowing down any time soon. While we’re yet to experience a Localhost venue ourselves yet, there seems to be an appetite for such facilities and this investment will help massively to raise the profile of both NSG and Localhost.