FNATIC RAISES $7M+ FROM FROM CELTICS, AS ROMA GROUP BUT NOT THE ASTRO'S
TNL Take: I was getting worried.
It had been almost 3 weeks and we hadn't seen a major investment between Pro Sports, owners and eSports since Cloud9's round with ex-49'er Joe Montana, SF Giant Hunter Pence, NBA Athlete Andrew Bogut, Patriot's owner Robert Kraft, LA Dodgers Co-Owner Todd Boehly, and Golden State Warriors Co-Owner Chamath Palihapitiya.
In March, Russian soccer club FC Anji decided to recruit a Dota2 player which is unusual to not invest in FIFA first.
In April, Swiss soccer team FC Laussanne-Sport made another unique move by acquiring team Qualitas Helvetica - best eSports team name ever associated with a Font? - which has teams in Overwatch, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone and Rocket League but not FIFA.
Yesterday, one of the top global eSports teams Fnatic, announced a $7M raise at a very significant pre-money valuation. The money comes from the usual slew of Pro Sports team owners and those with a lot of 0's in their bank account:
- Jim Pallotta's Raptor Group Holdings which owns the Boston Celtics and AS Roma - if that sounds familiar it's because AS Roma signed a deal with Fnatic to help launch their eSports team.
- Hersh Interactive Group, which co-owns the Houston Astros [UPDATE: Turns out they are not involved with the Houston Astro's and I'm confirming if they invested themselves]
The current 2017 Pro Sports and eSports Investment list:
And if you're still questioning why so many Pro Teams are investing - here is your primer: "Why Pro Sports Teams Invest In eSports"
One area of Fnatic that is overlooked by the general public is that they're the only eSports team with a full slew of branded merchandise and their own hardware brand, Fnatic Gear - vs. partnering with a Endemic Gaming hardware brands.
Having top teams across eSports, Fnatic Gear and even a London pop-up store - Fnatic is the clear leader in monetization.