Mentioned in this article
- G2 Esports secured a $10M USD financing round from Canadian Alibaba co-founder and Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai.
- In 2019, the esports organization raised two investment rounds totaling $27.3M. Most of the investors participating are New York-based.
- G2 Esports plans to open an office in New York soon and is likely looking to work closely with the Brooklyn Nets to bring its esports brand to the U.S. East Coast.
Today, Berlin-based esports organization G2 Esports announced that it has raised a $10M investment round from Joseph Tsai, a Taiwan-born Canadian billionaire businessman who co-founded Alibaba Group and serves as its executive vice-chairman, via his sports investment vehicle J Tsai Sports.
Only three months ago, Tsai became the owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA franchise. Initially, he bought 49% of the franchise for $1B in 2017 and acquired the remaining 51% for $1.35B in September, making it the highest price paid for a U.S. sports franchise at $2.35B. The previous owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, bought the franchise in 2010 for $200M. Comparable types of return on investment, which many franchises in the big U.S. sports leagues generated, might be what some of the esports franchise investors are potentially speculating for.
Further assets in the portfolio of J Tsai Sports include the Barclays Center, New York Liberty of the Women’s National Basketball Association, San Diego Seals of the National Lacrosse League, as well as investments in the Premier Lacrosse League, Los Angeles FC of Major League Soccer, and several sports media and technology companies based in North America and Asia.
This is the second investment raised by G2 Esports this year and brings the company’s total amount raised in 2019 to $27.3M. Earlier this year in February, the organization raised a $17.3M growth funding round led by several New York City-based investment groups including Seal Rock Partners, Parkwood Corporation, and Everblue Management, and several of tech and sports entrepreneurs including Yext Co-Founder and President, Brian Distelburger; Doodle Founder, Myke Näf; and Topgolf Media President, YuChiang Cheng.
Carlos Rodriguez, G2 Esports co-founder and CEO, explained that “J Tsai Sports is a strategic investor in G2. We look forward to working with J Tsai Sports to expand our business globally.” The esports organization will open a New York office soon and will be looking to create synergies with J Tsai Sports’ New York-based portfolio assets to establish its esports brand in the U.S. East Coast area.