Esports investment report, May 2021: Fnatic, Enthusiast, Beastcoast

Esports investment in May was led by Fnatic raising $17m. There were various mergers and acquisitions, including Enthusiast Gaming’s acquisition of both Icy Veins and Tabwire, as well as two Letters of Intent (LOI) signed by other companies set to make acquisitions of their own.

Esports investment report May

Each month, ESI collates the period’s significant esports investment news. Here are the key stories from May 2021. To read more about a story below, click the link in the corresponding title.

Spotlighted story

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harry Maguire named Semper Fortis Esports ambassadors

Dominic Calvert-Lewin Semper Fortis
Credit: Semper Fortis Esports PLC

English professional footballers Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Harry Maguire have been made brand ambassadors of esports startup Semper Fortis Esports PLC.

“We are delighted to have brought both Harry, and last week Dominic, on board as ambassadors and will be spending time working with them in the short term to achieve our stated aims,” Kevin Soltani, CEO of Semper Fortis Esports said in a release.

Fnatic closes $17m funding round led by Marubeni

Fnatic Marubeni
Credit: Fnatic

London-based esports organisation Fnatic announced in May that it had raised $17m (~£12m) in a new investment round led by Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation.

The investment includes a strategic partnership between the two organisations that will support Fnatic’s expansion into the Japanese and Asia-Pacific esports markets.

Enthusiast Gaming acquires Icy Veins and Tabwire

Enthusiast Gaming x Tabwire
Credit: Enthusiast Gaming / Tabwire

Esports conglomerate Enthusiast Gaming acquired two companies in May. The first to be announced was Vedatsis SAS, the owner of strategy guide platform Icy Veins, for €7m (~£6.01m). The deal was first announced in March this year.

The second was data platform Tabwire LLC for $11m (~£7.81m). This acquisition will help Enthusiast towards its goal of developing a subscription-based social network for gamers (code-named Project GG).

ESE Entertainment to acquire Digital Motorsports

ESE Digital Motorsports
Credit: ESE Entertainment

Entertainment and technology company ESE Entertainment Inc. (ESE) has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Irish esports infrastructure company Auto Simulation Ltd — the parent company of Digital Motorsports.

“Our shared vision of becoming the number one global brand for esports in the motorsports industry was paramount in coming together to sign the LOI,” ESE CEO Konrad Wasiela said on ESE’s agreement with Digital Motorsports.

Supernova Capital announces Player1 Events acquisition

Supernova Capital Acquires Player1 Events
Credit: Supernova Capital

Private equity company Supernova Capital has announced the acquisition of Player1 Events from UK-based gaming retailer GAME.

Supernova now owns the rights to Insomnia Gaming Festival, one of the UK’s most popular in-person gaming events. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

StreamCards raises $530,000, partners with The Esports Bible for closed beta

StreamCards CS:GO Twitch Extension Banner
ESI illustration | StreamCards

Warsaw-based startup StreamCards has raised approximately $530,000 (~£375,500) from its private investment round.

StreamCards was incubated by Tar Heel Capital Pathfinder, a venture building and venture capital fund which has supported other projects such as GRID Esports, Gamivo, and Skinwallet.

LOOT.BET acquired in Intema Solutions deal logo
Credit: LOOT.BET

Intema Solutions has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Livestream Gaming Ltd, owner of esports betting platform LOOT.BET.

The transaction will see Intema acquire all of the issued and outstanding Livestream securities for $14.75m (~£10.6m).

Beastcoast closes $2.5m pre-seed funding round

beastcoast funding round
ESI illustration. Image credit: Beastcoast, Marko Blažević

North American esports organisation Beastcoast closed its pre-seed funding round at $2.5m (~£1.8m) in early May.

Investors included Andover Ventures, Elevate Ventures and Techstars, alongside angel investors Steven Temares (formerly of Bed Bath & Beyond) and Scott Dorsey, a Managing Partner at High Alpha Ventures.

UK organisation Resolve announces Barrage Esports acquisition

Resolve x Barrage
Credit: Resolve Esports x Barrage Esports

Resolve Esports has announced the acquisition of fellow UK org Barrage Esports.

As a result of the acquisition and subsequent merger, Resolve will take over all of Barrage’s esports and business operations.

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