TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: Hitmarker launches second crowdfunding campaign; MPL secures USD$500,000 (£375,000); and ESE Entertainment purchases K1CK.
Hitmarker launches second crowdfunding campaign
Video games and esports recruitment platform Hitmarker has announced the launch of its second crowdfunding campaign with the intention of securing £200,000 for a collective stake of 4%, valuing the British firm at £4.8m. The valuation is well over double the £1.9m it garnered in November 2019 through its previous crowdfunding run, in which it raised £165,000. Since then, Hitmaker has almost doubled its userbase, while monthly revenue has climbed by 67% year-over-year. The latest tranche will be used by the Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based firm to hire an additional 10 members of staff by the close of 2022, expand to further markets through localised Hitmarker hubs, and to expand its first-party networking platform for gaming professionals. Despite only being open to existing and selected investors at the time of writing, Hitmarker has already raised £160,000 through the round, representing 80% of its target.
Speaking to TheGamingEconomy, Richard Huggan, Managing Director of Hitmarker, commented, “We’re delighted to have achieved over 80% of our minimum target in the short time the round has been private live on Crowdcube. We’re already well ahead of where we were last year, so we’re hopeful of completing this round as quickly as we did that one. We’ll then take a short pause and regroup over the festive period before starting to put this new capital to work in 2021.”
MPL secures USD$500,000 (£375,000)
Mobile Premier League (MPL) has secured USD$500,000 (£375,000) in investment from RA MPL Holding Pte., a vehicle wholly-owned by Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal, according to a report originally published in Entrackr. Agarwal’s support of the Begaluru-based firm closely follows the completion of its USD$90m (£68m) Series C round which was completed towards the close of September, co-led by SIG, RTP Global, and MDI Ventures. Both the Series C and new angel funding are symptomatic of the greater investor interest in India-based fantasy esports platforms, with Halaplay (INR₹146m/£1.48m); Dream Sports (USD$225m/£169m); and WinZo (USD$18m/£14m), all receiving funding in recent months.
Speaking in September on the Series C funding, MPL Co-Founder and CEO Sai Srinivas wrote, “In a short time, MPL has taken the gaming market by storm, with our various offerings and partnerships, which have helped us stand out in the industry[…] Being able to bring quality technology, competitive spirit and enjoyment to people in such an accessible way is what keeps us excited.”
ESE Entertainment purchases K1CK
Warsaw-based esports holding company ESE Entertainment has announced that it will be acquiring all the assets of Portuguese esports organisation K1CK Esports Club from current owner Pedro Fernandes for CAD$207,500 (£119,900), consisting of CAD$120,000 (£69,300) in cash and the remainder in ESE common shares. Prior to the acquisition the two firms were working together on licensing and management activities for K1CK, with the rationale behind the acquisition to further expand the K1CK brand and ESE’s capabilities within the wider esports industry. The round closely follows an investment raise of CAD$2.25m (£1.30m), just prior to its IPO on the TSX Venture Exchange on Monday 17th August in which it secured CAD$1.3m (£751,000).
In a statement, ESE CEO Konrad Wasiela commented, “K1CK Esports is a brand that is recognised and respected globally. Finalising the acquisition of K1CK’s intellectual property will allow us to focus on continuing to build the next big esports brand. We hope that with the additional infrastructure ESE can provide, K1CK will become a tier one brand that will be in the same conversation as the Cloud9, FaZe Clan and G2 Esports of the world. Our core focus is to continue building our fan base and engaging with the esports community. ESE will also invest in technologies that will allow K1CK to scale its monetisable assets globally.”