Brazilian venture capital fund OutField Capital, best known for its investments in esports organisation Team oNe and content platform Final Level, has announced the launch of a new venture fund in a move that sets its esports sights even higher.
Esports Insider spoke with OutField Co-founder Pedro Oliveira regarding the newest phase in the company’s investment plan, named OutField Capital 2, which aims to raise between R$50m and R$70m (~£9.53m-£13.35m).
The fund promises to take advantage of all the knowledge gathered by OutField since its foundation in 2016, with the hope of taking its ventures to a new level. Alongside its investments, OutField also gained prominence in Brazilian esports through its consultancy services with a number of organisations.
“The new fund is a way for us to replicate all the learnings we’ve had, and still have, as a consultancy every day,” said Oliveira. “In this case, we are looking for companies in stages from seed to series A.”
The company was involved in the brand licensing deal closed between Simplicity Esports and football club Flamengo in 2020. Recently, the company hit the news when it guided Los Grandes through the purchase of Simplicity’s spot in the Brazilian League of Legends Championship (CBLOL) franchise.
“Much of what we do in the company since 2016 involves the gaming and esports market, so this is at the core of our investment thesis. In our strategy, we invariably look at the gaming market as something instrumental,” stated Oliveira.
As OutField also has assets in the traditional sports market, like the fan partner infrastructure provider 2morrow Sports — used by four teams of the Brazilian first division of football — Oliveira applies concepts from sports when facing the esports sector.
For him, everything involving the competitive world goes beyond the game itself, such as interactions before and after a match, stories built around players, and other possible interchanges. All of these intricacies are part of the wider entertainment field that the esports scene can address.
OutField’s vision is not unique in the Brazilian esports scene, as companies like GO4IT and Componente, both also having previously invested in the traditional sports market, have also invested in local esports organisations over the last years.
Ultimately, this explains OutField’s investment in Final Level, a Brazilian company focused on gaming content that constantly blurs the line between competition and entertainment. Although the organisation maintains a team called Gamelanders and an esports arena in São Paulo, its operations are mixed with the company’s core business of creating content to connect brands with Gen Z audiences.
“The main point that makes esports a very attractive business from an entertainment point of view, is that it is born out of a business that is entertainment from its core: gaming,” explained Oliveira. As examples, he detailed esports events that also utilise music, dance and other features to build experiences for audiences, not just competition.
Despite these developments, Oliveira still considers this market underused. For him, investments in businesses that improve the experiences of people attending an esports event or watching it from home can easily generate value.
“So our thesis works around the fact that the market already functions even if it is not performing at its full potential. Bringing in new solutions and people with a remarkable long-range vision, who want to develop the market to create value, is how we will move [forward].”
Asked why it was opening a new fund instead of expanding its existing one, Oliveira explained that it is part of the company’s strategy to fit into the regulations of Brazil’s market. The original OutField fund fits into a smaller structure, having raised BRL $6m (~£940,000) when it was created in 2020. Different rules apply to a fund of around R$50m-R$70m, the amount OutField Capital 2 aims to raise.
OutField Capital was used as a vehicle, mainly to validate the investment thesis, gather experience, ensure the safety of the investors as it prepared for a more ambitious venture. OutField 2 is, therefore, the company’s grand launch into the international market.
Besides investments in gaming and esports, the fund will also seek startups in traditional sports, Web3 and lifestyle, both in Brazil and beyond.
For the new fund, OutField expects to count both on individual investors and big institutions, like banks, that are willing to commit large amounts.
“We are really confident with our position,” stated Oliveira. “OutField is on a really nice path to transform the esports and entertainment markets. That investment strategy of ours, first with the original fund and now with the second fund, is the cornerstone of all the impact we want to make.”