The month of November saw a healthy dose of action, both on the positive and negative ends of the investment spectrum. We’ve seen Juked shut down for good, Misfits launch a major creator-focused fund, and Fnatic release a lofi hip-hop album. EXCEL also acquired an e-learning platform and the Chinese city of Hangzhou announced it could invest £11 million in e-sports and games.
There’s certainly a lot to unpack, so let’s get started right away.
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Misfits launches $20 million creator fund
(ESI Illustration) Credit: Misfits Gaming Group
Esports and gaming company Misfits Gaming Group will launch a $20 million fund called the Misfits Creator Fund.
The fund, which will be open to creatives and influencers, aims to provide resources and infrastructure to kick-start creative and sustainable projects. The new fund will allow Misfits to fund a large number of projects, ranging from high-profile ventures like television and streaming shows, to smaller ventures like live events, conferences, merchandise lines or streaming shows.
NBA star Gordon Hayward joins Beastcoast as a senior advisor and investor
Photo credit: Beastcoast
The North American esports organization Beastcoast has announced NBA star Gordon Hayward as its newest investor.
With his investment, Hayward joins Beastcoast as a senior advisor with the goal of further deepening the organization’s connection to his home state of Indiana. Financial figures behind the investment were not disclosed. Hayward is an active National Basketball Association (NBA) player who currently plays for the Charlotte Hornets and has previously played for the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics.
Hangzhou is reportedly pledged over £11million in support of video games and esports
Photo credit: Shutterstock
The Chinese city of Hangzhou has pledged 100 million yuan (£11.5 million) annually in support of video games and esports, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.
The city has emerged as a technology and eSports hub in recent years – in 2018 it opened its own “eSports City” – with the goal of launching several eSports projects by the end of 2022. Large academic institutions in Hangzhou will create academic programs based on video game animation and e-sports. Institutions that will participate in the initiative include Zhejiang University, China Academy of Art and Zhejiang Media Institute.
The esports app Juke is shutting down
Esports social media network Juked will cease operations in the coming weeks after negotiations with potential buyers collapsed, according to CEO Ben Goldhaberannounced.
The company initially kept some of its key services online after finding a potential buyer, but Goldhaber announced the deal had been finalized following the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX last week.
Goldhaber detailed the reasons behind Juked’s eventual departure on his personal blog, saying that while he had high expectations for the app, the investment environment had become more hostile to esports startups in recent years, making fundraising for his small team more complex .
EXCEL ESPORTS acquires Hitcap assets
(ESI illustration) Credit: EXCEL ESPORTS
UK eSports organization EXCEL ESPORTS has announced the acquisition of assets of eSports e-learning platform Hitcap.
As part of the acquisition, EXCEL will now operate Hitcap’s social media channels, content archive and learning product. Hitcap is an esports coaching platform focused on League of Legends, known for its in-depth approach and for clarifying the ins and outs of the game in a simple way. Hitcap’s website was offline at the time of writing, but its social media profiles are still online.
Fnatic founds a music label and releases a lofi hip hop album
Photo credit: Fnatic
The European eSports organization Fnatic has launched its own music label with the simple name Fnatic Music.
The organization’s debut album, Fnatic Island Vol. 1, features 31 lofi hip-hop tracks in collaboration with 40 artists. According to one publication, the album is intended to be an accompaniment to casual gaming.
The announcement is yet another attempt by Fnatic to expand its operations as a gaming lifestyle brand. Fnatic’s music company joins its existing lineup of gaming peripherals, merchandise, and college affiliate programs. The album release also builds on the organization’s previous immersion in music, following their collaboration with British hip-hop artist Che Lingo in April.
Fnatic secures investment and partnership with Hivemind Capital
Image credit: Fnatic/Hivemind
British esports organization Fnatic has announced a strategic partnership and investment by cryptocurrency asset manager Hivemind Capital.
The deal is part of a funding round that includes a range of other cryptocurrency organizations, from Metaverse platform GuildFi to gaming and Web3 investment fund WW Ventures. The organization claims that its new investors will support “further technical ambitions” and allow Fnatic to develop its own Web3 applications. The team will study scaling digital economies to improve game performance and the quality of gaming experiences.
LDN UTD was acquired by Web3 company Ludus Gaming
(ESI illustration) Credit: LDN UTD
UK eSports organization LDN UTD has been acquired by venture capital and Web3 firm Ludus Gaming.
As part of the acquisition, LDN UTD will be integrated into the Ludus Gaming group and will work with other companies under its umbrella. Oliver Weingarten, founder of LDN UTD, will become Chairman of the new company, while Daniel Gee of Ludus Gaming will serve as CEO. Additionally, James Sheehan of sports and media finance group SM22 will join the company’s board as a non-executive director.
The Vietnamese sports organization Saigon Buffalo was taken over by JUEGO
Photo credit: CNJ Esports
Vietnamese esports organization Saigon Buffalo, known for its League of Legends team, has been acquired by South Korean company JUEGO.
The new owners have acquired 100% of the organization and will retire the Saigon Buffalo branding. The team will continue to exist as CNJ Esports in the future to align with JUEGO’s existing esports brand. Financial details were not disclosed.
Team Delirium is funded by nightclub Tape London
Photo credit: Team Delirium / Tape London
British esports organization Team Delirium has announced nightclub Tape London as its newest investor.
According to a report by Esports News UK, Tape London will take over part of Team Delirium to bridge the gap between gaming and music culture. Financial figures behind the investment were not disclosed. The companies try to achieve their goal through the creation of content and marketing opportunities. At the same time, Team Delirium will also reportedly receive funding to help with its game content and esports work to further advance the team’s operations.
Ivan is from Croatia, loves weird simulator games and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about technology and esports in Croatia and now do it here.