Wednesday 9 December 2015 3:37 pm

ESports firm Azubu raises £40m to fund global expansion


I'm a sports and sports business journalist with City A.M. Follow me for coverage of the industry behind sports and the money made by top athletes. I've provided expert commentary on sports business for both TV and radio, including the BBC World Service. My email is always open to tips and story ideas: joe.hall@cityam.com

I'm a sports and sports business journalist with City A.M. Follow me for coverage of the industry behind sports and the money made by top athletes. I've provided expert commentary on sports business for both TV and radio, including the BBC World Service. My email is always open to tips and story ideas: joe.hall@cityam.com

Follow Joe Hall

ESports entertainment network Azubu is hoping a new €55m (£39.9m) round of investment will help it expand its global presence.

The financing, led by London-based Sapinda Group and Sallfort Privatbank of Switzerland, signals further investment into the new eSports markets.

Read more: Pro video gaming in the UK attracts almost 60m views

Azubu will also use the cash injection towards developing a new customizable live video streaming platform to cater for the estimated 100m viewers around the world who watch eSports live on internet streams every month.

“We believe that the global eSports community deserves a broadcast and viewing platform that’s designed specifically for their businesses,” said chief executive Ian Sharpe. “We are developing our technology in direct collaboration with the community and brand partners in order to provide the best possible, and crucially, most monetizable [sic] streaming experience.”

LA-based Azubu has already set up outposts in Vancouver and Seoul, where eSports is perhaps most popular, but is increasingly looking to move into new markets.

Chief operating officer Jason Katz added: "We are expanding operations in a number of new regions around the world and creating bigger and more content partnerships and corporate relationships, which we're looking forward to announcing in the near future.

"This latest round of financing will support our global growth and expansion into 2016 and beyond."

ESports are increasingly making inroads into the UK mainstream. In October, the BBC broadcast eSports for the first time, when the League of Legends World Championships held at Wembley Arena.

Share