American billionaire Mark Cuban invests in eSports firm Unikrn

Joe Hall
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Mark Cuban is the owner of NBA team the Dallas Mavericks (Source: Getty)

American billionaire, film producer and TV personality Mark Cuban contributed to a $10m (£4.5m) investment round in eSports betting firm Unikrn.

Read more: eSports betting firm Unikrn launches in the UK

Venture firm Binary Capital, early investors in Silicon Valley successes such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram led the investment round which attracted the eccentric Cuban and other firms including Advancit Capital and 500 Startups.

Unikrn, founded by former general manager of Microsoft Ventures Rahul Sood, hosts online viewing and betting platforms for phenomenally popular eSports games such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Jonathan Teo of Binary Capital said the burgeoning popularity and revenues of eSports was only at "the tip of the iceberg" and would continue to grow. The final of last year's League of Legends World Championship was watched by 27m people, while London-based firm Gfinity's audience has already topped 30m this year.

Cuban is well known to the American public for owning the Dallas Mavericks and appearing on the US version of Dragon's Den, Shark Tank.

Cuban explained his investment in a statement:

Hundreds of companies every year try to get me to invest, whether on Shark Tank or off camera. However, I only put my money and my name on the companies that I feel will be successful, truly advance an industry and have a leadership team that I respect. Unikrn fits all these requirements.

As a sports fanatic and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, I'm excited to be involved with a new sport just as it's poised for huge growth.

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