BUSINESS

Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Investing in eSports Tech; FaceIt Raise $15m in Seed Funding

TAGs: Cleveland Cavaliers, Courtside Ventures, Dan Gilbert, eSports, FaceIt, Lee Davy

Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner, Dan Gilbert, has created an investment fund ready to plough $35m into wearable eSports technology; London-based eSports platform FaceIt raise $15m in seed funding.

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) ties with eSports have strengthened. Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner, Dan Gilbert, has partnered with Bruin Sports Capital and WPP. The trio has ploughed $35m into an investment fund. Part of which will go towards the eSports industry.

Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Investing in eSports Tech; FaceIt Raise $15m in Seed FundingThe new fund is called Courtside Ventures. Marketed as an early-stage founder ‘transforming the intersection of sports, technology, and media.’

Gilbert’s partners include Founder & CEO of Krossover Vasu Kulkarni, Interplay Ventures Deepen Parikh, and Founder & Chairman of Rockbridge Growth Equity Brian Hermelin.

News reports suggest that a significant portion of the capital raised will go towards Virtual Reality headgear and other eSports wearables.

Before Christmas former Los Angeles Lakers star, Rick Fox, purchased League of Legends team Gravity Gaming. Shortly afterwards he renamed them Team Echo Fox. They compete in the North American Leagues Championship Series.

FaceIt Raise $15 Million in Seed Funding

Across the pond, UK-based eSports outfit FaceIt have also been busy raising funds to be splashed around in the burgeoning video gaming industry.

FaceIt runs a multiplayer gaming platform specialising in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), DOTA 2, and League of Legends (LOL). They have successfully raised $15m in Series A funding thanks to a little bit of help from investment firms: Anthos Capital, Index Ventures and United Ventures.

Last year, United Ventures helped them raise an initial $2m. The new influx of cash will enable them to expand their team, build upon their technology and strengthen their platform.

Founded in 2012, in London, FaceIT have used some of the money to open up an office in Los Angeles where they can reinforce partnerships in the vibrant US eSports industry, one of the most lucrative in the world.

“With this round of funding, we will be able to further our three-pronged mission for a competitive gaming platform: a robust competitive community for players and organizers, an easy-to-implement competitive layer for developers, and custom offerings for brands, tied to their products and services,” Niccolo Maisto, founder and CEO of FaceIt, told Variety.com.

FaceIt has more than 3.5 million registered users.

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