World Chess has revealed a bold gambit onto London’s main market today as its looks to raise €8m (£6.9m) to fuel the game’s expansion.
World Chess, which aims to boost the mass market appeal of chess globally, has been linked with a London IPO since last year and said it was now aiming for a float in November.
The group organises top-level tournaments and operates the official online gaming platform of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), but is now looking to ramp up its growth push with access to regular capital via the public markets.
Chiefs at the firm said today the sport was still under-commercialised and it is “well-positioned” to take advantage of the online boom.
“There continues to be an explosion of interest in chess, which has accelerated through recent years and even more during the pandemic,” said Ilya Merenzon, Chief Executive Officer of World Chess.
“To keep pace with this growth we are scaling up our operations and expanding our range of services internationally.”
Online platforms and the hit Netflix series Queen’s Gambit have boosted the appeal of chess and the game now boasts more than 600 million active players.
An IPO had reportedly initially been delayed by plans to shift the organisation’s workforce out of Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.