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PandaScore raises $6M to drive esports betting with AI-powered data

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PandaScore BetBuilder goes live with Ladbrokes Australia
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PandaScore, a startup that provides real-time data for the esports betting industry, has raised €5 million (~$6M) in recent funding. The funds will be used to expand the company’s products for bookmakers, enabling more and better esports betting experiences.

Paris-founded startup PandaScore, which supplies esports bookmakers with AI-powered statistics and odds, announces today that it has raised €5M (~$6M) in funding. The round is led by Serena, with other investors in the round being Alven, sports-tech investor KB Partners and esports owner and investor aXiomatic Gaming.

Esports is estimated to have close to 500 million fans worldwide and the industry accounts for about $1bn in global revenues. Still, it has room to grow when it comes to betting. PandaScore’s real-time AI-powered odds empower betting traders to better leverage this massive entertainment industry.

“Providing game-changing data for bookmakers is our way to fuel the growth of esports,” says PandaScore founder and CEO Flavien Guillocheau. “When bookmakers can offer great esports betting it also helps in raising sponsorships for teams and tournaments.”

Collecting data in real-time from ongoing esports matches and from official sources, PandaScore uses its proprietary artificial intelligence to sift out and analyze the most useful pieces of information as it happens. Betting traders gain an edge utilizing machine learning to set better odds and a larger esports offering.

“Bookmakers are some of the most data dependent companies out there,” says Mr. Guillocheau. “With esport tournaments and fantasy leagues becoming a more significant component of sportsbook offerings around the world, access to PandaScore’s abundance of real time esports odds and data is vital to all the bookmakers we work with. Our vision is to help esports grow by providing the data resources for any esports business.”

PandaScore taps into the trend of a new generation tuning in to esports for entertainment and betting just as much as their older peers have done with traditional sports. The trend has only been emphasized by the recent lockdowns in many countries, which have disrupted regular sports more than they have the online gaming esports industry.

Pandascore has recently signed some of the fastest growing companies in the esports entertainment and esports betting industries as clients, including fantasy esports company Sleeper and leading companion app Strafe, esports betting platform Pixelbet and leading LATAM sportsbook BetCris. The company will use the new funding for further expansion, including hiring for the team in Paris and in Malta, as well as to cover more esport titles.

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Promoters stake sale of Nazara Technologies Limited to existing investor, Plutus Wealth Management LLP

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Mitter Infotech LLP, a promoter of Nazara Technologies Limited (“the Company”), has sold 48,84,000 equity shares, representing 6.38% of the issued share capital to Plutus Wealth Management LLP through an on-market transaction in the block deal window of the stock exchange (“Block Trade”) on May 27, 2024.

The Block Trade will provide liquidity for the promoters who have dedicated 25 years to the Company’s growth. The promoters will retain control of the Company, with Nitish Mittersain continuing in his current role as CEO & Jt. Managing Director. The promoters remain confident that the Company is strategically and financially well positioned to capitalize on the numerous opportunities ahead.

Plutus Wealth Management LLP, an investor in Nazara since 2020 (pre-IPO), has demonstrated strong confidence in the Company’s prospects by increasing its shareholding via this Block Trade.

“Plutus Wealth Management LLP has been a long term investor in Nazara since the pre-ipo days and has actively participated in subsequent fund raises as well”, said Vikash Mittersain, Promoter, Nazara Technologies Limited. “This transaction represents a resounding vote of confidence by Plutus in Nazara’s long-term growth prospects, its promoters and management”, he added.

Mr. Arpit Khandelwal, Managing Partner of Plutus Wealth Management LLP, said, “We are extremely delighted to announce that we have increased our stake in Nazara Technologies Limited, India’s leading diversified gaming and sports media platform. This decision underscores our strong conviction in the phenomenal growth opportunity that the sector offers and our confidence in Nazara’s diversified product portfolio, talented team, and unique competitive position. With its expanded presence in various international markets and global partnerships, Nazara is a notable example of an Indian games company that has been successful in going global. In continuation to our philosophy, we look forward to actively supporting the management team as they execute on their growth strategy and aggressively accelerate progress towards achieving their long-term objectives”.

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eSports

The Esports Awards Win Gold at 45th Telly Awards

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The Esports Awards and Thunder Studios announced that the Esports Awards 2023 has been awarded Best Online Series, Shows and Segments in People’s Telly in the record-breaking 45th Telly Awards.

The Telly Awards recognize excellence in video and television across all screens and are judged by leaders from video platforms, television, streaming networks and production companies, including Adobe, Calvin Klein, ESPN, LinkedIn, Mother Jones, NASA, the LA Clippers (NBA), PlayStation Studios, Sawhorse Productions and TelevisaUnivision.

Founded in 2015, the Esports Awards is the most prestigious night in the esports calendar and the only global award show that aims to recognize esports excellence. The 2023 edition, held at Resorts World in Las Vegas, was a spectacular celebration of the industry’s best, spanning thirty award categories across Entertainment, Industry, Creative, Pro, On-Air Talent and Collegiate sectors, viewed by millions globally.

In a remarkable achievement, the Esports Awards, in partnership with Xfinity, set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the largest digital video game display during the event. WWE superstars Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair, pro-Fortnite player Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf and esports personality Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez played on a screen made up of 3552 LED panels, covering 100,000 square feet. This feat was made possible through the support of Thunder Studios and Infinite Reality Studios.

Other notable winners at the Telly Awards include PlayStation Studios, National Geographic, and MTV Entertainment Studios.

Michael Ashford, CEO of the Esports Awards, said: “The whole team is truly honored and humbled to be recognized at the Telly Awards among nominees of such caliber. We couldn’t be prouder and more excited as we set our sights on achieving even greater things in 2024. To the entire esports community and our partners, we say thank you.”

Sean Cross, President of iR Entertainment, added: “These awards prove what we have known for years, Thunder Studios is a partner that transcends the ordinary, a hidden gem where innovation and quality set the standard for excellence in modern and advanced media production. We are not just meeting but exceeding the high standards of the media production industry.”

The 45th Telly Awards saw a record-breaking number of nearly 13,000 entries from top video and television content producers worldwide. Winners were selected by the Telly Awards Judging Council, an industry body of over 200 leading experts from advertising agencies, production companies and major television networks.

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ESL FACEIT Group releases documentary detailing the fight for women’s equality in esports and the efforts of the ESL Impact circuit

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The ESL FACEIT Group, the world’s largest esports and gaming company, has released “Making an Impact 2023” [available here], a documentary highlighting the work done via ESL Impact toward promoting women’s esports and levelling the playing field—revealing a powerful narrative that shatters barriers, defies stereotypes and fosters an environment that’s representative and inclusive for all.

The documentary follows teams of women competing at ESL Impact live events and Global Finals at DreamHack Dallas and DreamHack Valencia. The esports athletes featured discuss the ups and downs of competition, team dynamics and the pressure to win before a backdrop of toxicity and sexism endemic to esports, including Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken, Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, Ksenia “vilga” Klyuenkova and Mounira “GooseBreeder” Dobie.

ESL Impact was launched at the beginning of 2022 as part of ESL FACEIT Group’s (EFG) #GGFORALL program. For over two years, it has set a standard for supporting DE&I in Counter-Strike esports by providing women teams, broadcast talent, and support staff additional opportunities to follow their dreams of being a part of the professional esports scene.

Over the past four seasons, the ecosystem has cemented itself as the hold for premier women’s Counter-Strike competition, and created critical pipelines for players and teams to grow – the league has increased participation in women’s esports by 25 percent and empowered women to break into the traditionally male-dominated industry.

Happy to connect you with a member of the ESL Impact team to learn more about what’s revealed in the documentary, the broader issues of toxicity within gaming and the powerful effect the circuit is having on women’s esports.

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