David Beckham’s Guild Esports Raises $35.5 Million In London IPO
ith the popularity of esports surging, David Beckham’s esports team, Guild Esports, has raised US$25.6 million (AUD$35.5 million) from its initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange to fund its expansion.
The competitive gaming organisation, whose investors include former England football captain, Beckham, said on September 29 its oversubscribed offering of 250 million shares was priced at US$0.10 (AUD$0.14) per ordinary share.
Around 40% of the company’s shares were made available, with the new funding being used to recruit new players, invest in the Guild brand and expand company activities.
Following the IPO, Beckham will maintain a 4.78% stake, which will make him the fourth-largest shareholder in the company.
Guild Esports are known to compete in Pysonix’s Rocket League and also EA Sports’ FIFA, although it is looking to expand into Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Epic Games’ Fortnite.
Guild Esports executive chairman, Carleton Curtis, said: “the growing global popularity of esports has enabled several existing franchises to monetise their activities through sponsorship, retail, merchandising, apparel & product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and tournaments.”
“Guild will be the first esports franchise to join the London stock market, which will provide us with the caché, credibility and capital to fulfil our ambition to become one of the world’s top ten esports franchises within three years,” Curtis said.
Other investors in the company include Tori Consulting, Blue Star Capital, and Schroder Investment Management.
Blue Star chief executive, Tony Fabrizi, said: “the successful IPO of Guild is an excellent illustration of the potential upside from Blue Star’s esports portfolio.”
“We believe Guild has an exciting future as a listed company and expect to see our portfolio deliver strong performance as the sector grows in strength,” Fabrizi said.
With Guild planning to enter more esports competitions, it is looking to create revenue through tournament winnings, digital marketing opportunities, sponsorship, membership, merchandise and promotional tours and events.