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Better Collective acquires globally leading esports brand Futbin and related domains for up to 105 mEUR and updates its financial guidance

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Better Collective acquires globally leading esports brand Futbin and related domains for up to 105 mEUR and updates its financial guidance
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Better Collective, a leading digital sports media group, continues to expand within esports by acquiring Futbin and related domains, constituting world-leading esports media brands within esoccer (FIFA), for a total price of up to 105 mEUR. With the addition of Futbin and related assets, Better Collective’s esports portfolio reaches 100 million monthly visits, and Better Collective further diversifies its income stream as Futbin revenues are mainly ads and subscription sales. In connection with the acquisition, Better Collective updates its financial targets for 2022.

The interest for esports continues to increase as more people interact with communities centred around their favourite esports titles. The acquisition of Futbin and associated domains is an important milestone in Better Collective’s ambition of becoming the leading digital sports media group, adding to the already strong position within esports built on hltv.org, the leading community for CS:GO.

With 50 million monthly visits on its website and 3 million daily active users (DAU) on its proprietary app, Futbin is the world’s leading esports brand related to the FIFA esoccer game. Together with its associated domains, the platforms provide a major player base with important insights into the game of FIFA. The main business model of the platforms is ad sales and more recently, the launch of the Futbin app has driven significant revenue growth with subscription services, which is still in an early stage but with a very promising outlook. The asset acquisition entails a significant revenue diversification for Better Collective as current revenue is not derived from activities related to sports betting, but through ads sales to retail and consumer brands as well as subscription.

During the last 12 months, the platforms generated 13 mEUR in revenues growing with a CAGR of 55% from 2019 to 2021. Better Collective will consolidate the acquired assets into the Better Collective Group accounts as from April 19, 2022. The team behind Futbin will continue to provide assistance to the business to ensure continued strong development of the platform, which will also be subject to investments going forward.

Better Collective expects to create significant synergies across the esports portfolio by developing products and services from a joint infrastructure, making it possible to effectively scale the esports brands to reach a larger audience. Reaching a combined 100 million monthly visits from Futbin, HLTV and other esports assets, Better Collective now holds a leading position in the esports market. Granting a unique access to the esports audience, this is a key segment for retail and consumer brands in their global positioning. The increased scale allows for optimised revenue streams through improved partnerships.

The transaction
The purchase price is agreed at up to 105 mEUR. Out of the total purchase price, 70 mEUR will be paid upfront in cash and shares of Better Collective A/S will be paid at a market value of 5 mEUR . The shares are expected to be transferred from Better Collective’s holding of its own shares. The remaining up to 30 mEUR is structured as a number of separate earn out payments to be paid over the coming two years subject to certain financial performance criteria. Furthermore, the acquisition of assets provides Better Collective with rights to tax-depreciation. Better Collective recently expanded its credit lines with Nordea Bank with an additional 100 mEUR to finance further acquisitions, including the Futbin and associated assets.

Financial targets for 2022
In connection with the acquisition, Better Collective updates its financial targets for the full year 2022 for operational earnings (EBITDA) to approximately 85 mEUR (previous approximately 80 mEUR). The updated financial targets, reflects addition of approximately 8 months of operational income from the acquired assets after inclusion of expected added costs to further develop the business. Other financial targets relating to organic growth and debt leverage remain unchanged at 15-25% for 2022 and <3.0x respectively.

Jesper Søgaard, CEO and co-founder of Better Collective, says:
“Esports is maturing and attracting more and more people globally – also professional athletes. Acquiring Futbin and related assets is a clear testament to Better Collective’s ambition of creating a platform that reaches esports audiences across the world. And even though more than 100 million people visit our esports platforms every month, we will continue to look for additional growth. We are very impressed with the high growth profile and the technology behind Futbin and the other assets in the portfolio. We expect to see significant positive synergistic effects with Better Collective’s business going forward”.

Esports: A fast-growing industry
The esports market has boomed in recent years. GlobeNewswire forecasts the esports market to continue growing with a 22% CAGR between 2022 to 2030, with ads and sponsorships representing the largest share of revenue.

Asia

Galaxy Racer appoints Syed Ibn-E-Ali as Chief Financial Officer for South-East Asia

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Galaxy Racer appoints Syed Ibn-E-Ali as Chief Financial Officer for South-East Asia
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Galaxy Racer (GXR), the transmedia powerhouse focused on esports, content creators, music and sports, has appointed Syed Ibn-E-Ali as its new Chief Financial Officer for SEA. In his new role, he will mainly focus on the growth, strategy and finances of Galaxy Racer in South-East Asia.

Joining Galaxy Racer with over 14 years of experience in financial administration and operations management, Ali brings with him a deep understanding of Software as a Service (B2B), eCommerce and the video games industry, taking on major positions across multiple regions including the USA, South Asia and APAC.

Having worked at the top level of finance at significant tech, media and gaming companies, including Rocket Internet and Streamline Media Group, Ali will be bringing his considerable experience driving media and gaming companies forward to Galaxy Racer’s operations in South-East Asia.

In his new role, Syed Ibn-E-Ali will be responsible for helping with the organisation’s expansion across the SEA region, as well as focusing on the structuring of all Galaxy Racer’s SEA offices, policy implementation and corporate governance.

With an outstanding track record of building strong business partnerships, optimising business processes and delivering strategic growth, Ali’s rich experience in accounting, auditing and finance will give Galaxy Racer an exceptional foundation for success in South-East Asia.

Syed Ibn-E-Ali, Chief Financial Officer SEA at Galaxy Racer said: “The continued growth of Galaxy Racer speaks for itself, and I’m so excited to join the team as the Chief Financial Officer for SEA, and help take the brand’s presence in the region to the next level. Entertainment, especially esports has become one of the most hyper-growth industries in Asia and is evolving at a tremendous pace. So it’s incredibly exciting for me to be with Galaxy Racer, at the very forefront of that growth.”

Mitch Esguerra, CEO SEA at Galaxy Racer commented: “It’s a pleasure to have Syed Ibn-E-Ali join us as our new Chief Financial Officer for SEA. His vast levels of experience and expertise at the top levels of the finance industry, alongside his passion for the esports and gaming industries, will be vital for us as we continue to grow in the region and build our global footprint.”

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eSports

BLAST to launch new esports collection with Nike branded apparel

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BLAST to launch new esports collection with Nike branded apparel
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Collection will look to celebrate gaming culture through an esports-inspired apparel line

Esports entertainment company BLAST has launched an esports-inspired Nike branded apparel collection.

The BLAST and Nike branded collection will look to encapsulate gaming culture and lifestyle through spotlighting and celebrating the people and personalities behind esports – from the talent and players, all the way through to the unsung heroes behind-the-scenes.

The collection will incorporate the iconic colours and design of BLAST Premier with the Nike emblem and will include a t-shirt, cap, hoodie and jersey.

Faye Marlborough, Head of Create Solutions at BLAST, said: “Our ambition is to work with the most reputable brands in the world, and they don’t come much bigger than Nike. Gaming has become a lifestyle over the last few years with the rise of esports, we are excited to be able to encapsulate the passion and uniqueness associated with competitive gaming through this collection.”

The apparel line will be launched and made available for general sale in August during the BLAST Premier Fall Groups (19-28 August).

BLAST Premier is the world’s leading Counter-Strike tournament series, hosting the best players and teams, offering opportunities to regions across the globe and crowning the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 of the world’s best teams take part in the seven BLAST Premier events across the year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line.

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eSports

Esports Insider’s The Clutch Announces $25,000 Prize Pool Supported by Overwolf

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Esports Insider has announced Overwolf, the all-in-one platform that enables creators to build, distribute and monetise in-game apps and mods, as the official Technology Partner of The Clutch, the esports-focused pitch investment competition, which will mark its grand return to a physical format at ESI’s flagship Major event ESI London on September 5-7th 2022.

Overwolf is contributing a prize pool of $25,000 to The Clutch’s London edition this year, with the following split: 1st place – $15,000, 2nd place – $7,000 and 3rd place – $3,000. The eligible winning start-up will also be granted the opportunity to travel to Tel Aviv, where Overwolf is headquartered, for a week of in-person mentoring and product acceleration.

“Overwolf has a long history of partnering with leading esports in-game apps from Professor, which helps League of Legends players understand their match statistics, to Tracker Network, which provides a suite of stats apps for many top games including Valorant, Apex and Fortnite. Through this partnership with Esports Insider, we are excited to find the best upcoming esports in-game apps that help gamers enhance their gameplay experience. The Clutch gives us early access to this rising talent and we can’t wait to hear the pitches,” Uri Marchand, CEO of Overwolf, said.

Taking place on September 7, The Clutch will welcome a panel of esteemed investors to judge three to four esports related start-ups. The judges involved in the panel will include Shahar Sorek, Chief Marketing Officer at Overwolf and Lisa Hau, COO at Bidstack; with more judges to be announced soon.

Launched in 2019 at ESI London, The Clutch began life as an in-person pitch investment competition focused exclusively on esports-related early stage start-ups. Since that edition, it has taken place digitally on multiple occasions during the ESI Digital series of events. To date, there have been four winners: G-Science, TEAMS.gg, Anzu and iTero Gaming.

Jack J Williams, Founder and Data Scientist at iTero Gaming, said: “Winning The Clutch 2021 was a jump-start for iTero Gaming. The prize, the exposure and joining the ranks of previous winners who have all impressed me would have been enough on its own.

“The highlight though, was that it became the catalyst for us to work with the team at Overwolf. They really understand our vision and are providing all the support and expertise we could ask for to deliver on it. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can continue to grow this ecosystem together long into the future.”

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