Former Chicago Bulls star and owner of NBA team the Charlotte Hornets Michael Jordan invested in Axiomatic E-sports alongside Declaration Capital, the investing office of Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein.
While the original investment figure was not disclosed by the Hancock Park-based Axiomatic, Bloomberg reported the investment totaled $26 million. Axiomatic did not return requests for comment confirming this figure. This contribution from Jordan is his first foray into e-sports investments, and he joins the Axiomatic board as an investor.
“The next generation of sports fans are e-sports fans,” said Ted Leonsis, co-executive chairman of Axiomatic. “E-sports is the fastest-growing sector in sports and entertainment, and Axiomatic is at the forefront of that growth. We are thrilled to welcome Michael and Declaration Capital to Axiomatic and look forward to working together on some truly cutting-edge opportunities.”
In a statement, Axiomatic reported the funds will be used to bolster its professional competitive e-sports outfit Team Liquid, worth an estimated $200 million, according to an Oct. 23 Forbes analysis of the most profitable e-sports companies.
“I’m excited to expand my sports equity portfolio through my investment in Axiomatic. E-sports is a fast-growing, international industry and I’m glad to partner with this great group of investors,” Jordan said.
Alongside Team Liquid (which ranked third) on the Forbes list was Cloud9 Esports Inc., based in Santa Monica and ranked first with an estimated valuation of $310 million, followed by Santa Monica local Team SoloMid, with a valuation of $250 million.
Beverly Hills-based Echo Fox Esports, run by Venture Vision Partners, ranked fourth on the list with an estimated valuation of $150 million. Westwood- headquartered Immortals, the e-sports outfit which boasts investments from Meg Whitman, ranked ninth on Forbes’ list with an estimated $100 million valuation. In total, of the top 12 companies listed by Forbes, seven are headquartered within L.A County, indicating a hotbed of activity and funding that is only likely to continue expanding as the market grows to a global $1.5 billion by 2020 as predicted by auditing firm Deloitte.
“From the beginning of our e-sports and video gaming journey, Axiomatic has sought to bring together world-class talent in its investor group. We are extremely excited to welcome these esteemed investors into the Axiomatic and Team Liquid family and look forward to their valuable and unique perspectives,” said Axiomatic Chief Executive Bruce Stein, who leads the company alongside Mandalay Entertainment Group Chief Executive Peter Guber.
Tech reporter Samson Amore can be reached at email@example.com or (323) 556-8335. Follow him on Twitter @samsonamore.
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