Today, it has been announced that Guild Esports – an online gaming firm co-owned by David Beckham – has released plans to fundraise £20m through listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The footballing icon is a founding shareholder at Guild Esports, and if the plans go ahead, it will become the first company of its kind on the LSE.
Guild Esports are planning for the listing to happen this autumn and its flotation would value the company at more than £45m.
The move comes as esports benefits from a rapidly growing fan base worldwide with some tournaments attracting a bigger audience than the Wimbledon tennis championships, Tour de France and the US Open.
The Company plans to create a leading global franchise by establishing its own esports teams to compete in major esports tournaments and a player training and scouting infrastructure modelled on the talent academies pioneered by Premier League football teams over many years. Additionally, David Beckham will use his global influence and following to support the development of the company’s brand and business.
Guild initially plans to set up and field dedicated teams to compete in four online games: Fortnite; CS:Go; Rocket League and FIFA.
Proceeds from the share placing will be used to recruit new players, invest in the Guild brand and expand the company’s activities.
Carleton Curtis, Executive Chairman of Guild, said: “The growing global popularity of esports has enabled several existing franchises to monetise their activities through sponsorship, retail, merchandising, apparel & product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and tournaments.
“Guild will be the first esports franchise to join the London stock market, which will provide us with the caché, credibility and capital to fulfil our ambition to become one of the world’s top ten esports franchises within three years.”
Zeus Capital and Mirabaud Securities are acting as joint brokers and book-runners for the company throughout the process.