Tuesday 29 September 2020 3:06 pm

David Beckham's e-sports team Guild raises £20m ahead of market debut

David Beckham’s e-sports company has raised £20m ahead of its plans to list on the London Stock Exchange this week.

The company, which announced plans to float earlier this month, will be the first e-sports enterprise to go public in Britain.

Read more: David Beckham’s e-sports team Guild to float in London

On Tuesday Guild said its oversubscribed offering of 250m shares was priced at 8 pence per ordinary share.

Former England captain Beckham is an original shareholder and will hold a 4.78 per cent stake in the company, according to a prospectus filed with the UK Listing Authority today.

It makes him the fourth-largest shareholder in the company.

Other investors include Toro Consulting, Blue Star Capital and Schroder Investment Management.

The demand for e-sports, where people watch players video gaming, has grown over the pandemic. Guild claims that some tournaments are attracting a bigger audience than Wimbledon, Tour de France and the US Open.

The global e-sports market is valued at $1.1bn and is project to grow by 42 per cent to $1.56bn, according to games market insight company Newzoo.

Last year’s Fortnite World Cup – a battle royale-style online multiplayer game – issued $3m in prize money.

Guild said it will use the money raised from the share placing to expand the business, including recruiting new players.

The company said it is looking to scale into various e-sports disciplines over the course of this year and next. And its inaugural team is expected to make its debut this autumn.

Along with Beckham, the existing Guild team is made up of e-sports veterans with experience as professional players and coaches as well as those in e-sports media.

Executive chairman Carleton Curtis is an architect of the Overwatch League and Call of Duty Leagues.

Beckham is not the only high-profile sports star to dabble with the e-sports world in recent months. Gareth Bale launched Ellevens Esports in February this year, which is co-owned with 38 Entertainment Group.