David Beckham’s Esports Company Prepares for an IPO
The First Esports Company on the London Stock Exchange
Guild Esports, a company co-founded by UK soccer star David Beckham, is making plans to go public. It will be the first esports company to trade on the London Stock Exchange.
Starting next month, Guild will list 40% of its shares. It hopes to raise $25.9 million to grow its fanbase and to hire 20 professional gamers. Initially, the company’s teams will compete in four games: Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, and FIFA.
The Esports Boom
Esports, competitions where professional gamers face off for audiences either virtually or in-person, have spiked in popularity recently. In 2019, esports reached an audience of almost 500 million and raked in revenue of almost $1 billion.
Some esports competitions, like the 2017 League of Legends championship, drew more viewers than traditional sports events like Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Tour de France.
The pandemic has made esports even more popular. Live sports have been canceled and fans have had more time at home, so many have turned to esports for entertainment. Though competition is fierce and market conditions are volatile, Guild sees this as a good time for an IPO.
The company hopes to become a top 10 esports franchise over the next three years. In addition to preparing for its public debut, Guild is busy working on sponsorship deals, merchandising, and broadcasting agreements. Investors will be eager to see if Guild will achieve its big goals.
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