Esports investment report, April 2021: OverActive Media, GRID, Epulze

Aside from Epic Games raising an eye-watering $1bn (~£727m), endemic esports companies such as GRID, Epulze, Semper Fortis, and OverActive Media also raised substantial funds in April. 

Every month, Esports Insider compiles a list of the month’s key investment stories. To read more about a story below, click the link in the corresponding title.

Spotlighted Story:

Epic Games closes $1bn funding round led by Sony

Epic Games
Image credit: Epic Games

American games publisher Epic Games announced the closing of a $1bn (~£727m) funding round, bringing the company’s equity valuation to $28.7bn (~£20.87bn).

Sony Group Corporation led the funding round with an investment of $200m (~£145.4m). Other investors include Appaloosa, Baillie GiffordPark West, KKR, AllianceBernstein, Altimeter, Franklin Templeton,and Luxor Capital, to name a few.

Tournament platform Epulze secures £4.7m investment

Epulze Investment
Image credit: Epulze

Swedish esports tournament platform Epulze secured an investment of SEK 57m (∼£4,74m) from its latest funding round.

According to the release, participants in the funding round included Swedish financial group Svea Ekonomi and Norwegian Carucel Finance.

Esports data platform GRID announces $10m funding round

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: GRID

Esports data platform GRID announced a $10m (~£7.28m) Series A funding round, with NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster among the investors.

Alongside Smith-Schuster, ‘industry leaders’ behind Alinea Capital, Bumble Ventures, and Tar Heel Capital Pathfinder took part in the firm’s funding round, as well as ‘leading investors in the gaming, iGaming and tech industry’.

OverActive Media announces $40m investment, Montreal Canadiens joins ownership group

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: NHL / OverActive Media

OverActive Media, the parent company of MAD Lions, Toronto Ultra and Toronto Defiant, announced a second close to its private placement, with the firm receiving a total of over $40m (~£29.11m) in funding.

As a result of the investment, NHL’s Montreal Canadiens has joined OverActive Media’s ownership group. Moreover, Arizona Coyotes’s Phil Kessel and Washington Capitals’s Carl Hagelin have also become the latest in the company’s ownership group who are professional athletes.

Generation Esports closes $10.8m Series A funding round

Generation Esports
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Generation Esports

North American esports organisation and competitive platform Generation Esports in April announced its Series A funding round with a total of $10.8m (∼£7.83m) secured.

The funding raised will be used to support the organisation’s community and student esports initiatives.

Warner Music Group and Gobi Partners invests in Tier One Entertainment

Image credit: Tier One Entertainment

Philippines-based esports talent agency Tier One Entertainment announced that venture capital fund Gobi Partners and record label Warner Music Group have invested in the firm.

The strategic investments were made during the company’s Pre-Series A funding round. The amount raised during the round has not been revealed.

ESL and Intel renew long-term partnership, both parties look to invest $100m in esports

Image credit: ESL

Esports organiser and production company ESL Gaming renewed its long-standing partnership with North American technology company Intel.

According to the release, the renewal, which is set to commence in 2022, will see both entities invest over $100m (~£71.95m) in esports up until, and including, IEM Katowice 2025. The investment is expected to bring ‘further product innovations and improvements for fans and players alike’.

Guinevere Capital unveils new esports facility with Logitech G, Spark, and Eden Park

Image credit: Spark Esports Hub

Investment company Guinevere Capital partnered with peripherals firm Logitech G, telecommunications company Spark, and Eden Park to launch an esports facility in New Zealand.

The Spark Esports Hub is located within Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest stadium, and features training rooms, a 5G mobile-gaming area, and a venue to host esports events.

Esports startup Semper Fortis plans Aquis IPO

Nolan Bushnell Semper Fortis
Pictured: Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari and Semper Fortis board member. Image credit: Gary Reyes / Mercury News

Semper Fortis Esports PLC, an esports startup, announced its intention to go public via the Aquis Exchange on April 26th. The company aims to raise £2.5 million, according to a release, to tap into the ‘fast-growing’ market for competitive gaming.

Board members include Keith Harris, who is the former chair of The Football League, and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.

Astralis Group announces intention to trade in US market

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Astralis / DreamHack

Danish esports organisation Astralis Group announced its intention to trade in the US market through a dual quotation on the OTCQX Best Market.

According to the release, the organisation has applied to be publicly listed in the country due to ‘growing US investor interest’ in Astralis Group.

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