Axiomatic Gaming, the parent company of European esports organization Team Liquid, has raised a $35 million investment amid rising interest in esports.
The funding round, which values Team Liquid at $415 million, was led by Ares Management, an investment group that also owns minority stakes in traditional sports teams such as Atlético Madrid and McLaren Racing, and provided a secured line of credit to the San Diego Padres. Note that in June last year, the company announced that it had allocated more than $1 billion to invest in sports, media and entertainment.
Ares Management's investment is a first in esports and follows other industry deals over the past seven months, including investments by 100 Thieves, Misfits Gaming Group and Ampverse. Last month, ReKTGlobal, the owner of esports teams Rogue and London Royal Ravens, was bought by relatively unknown company Infinite Reality for $470 million.
Other investors included Revolution Growth, a Washington-based venture capital firm known for media and entertainment, and Hiro Capital, which specializes in gaming and esports investments.
The organization will use its new funds to explore potential acquisitions that could take the team to new heights and to expand its fan base internationally. The team's fastest growing market is Brazil, where it is already funding VALORANT and Rainbow Six rosters, and is about to open a new training facility, the third after opening in Los Angeles and the Netherlands.
According to Axiomatic Gaming CEO Mark Vela, the company now has nine distinct revenue streams and saw a 50% revenue growth in 2021, which he expects to “accelerate even further” this year. The changes are part of a directional shift in the industry in which organizations are looking to diversify their business away from the highly competitive game and the sponsorship it attracts.
Axiomatic Gaming believes that Team Liquid can bring a lot of value to their teams and fans without having to redefine themselves through the metaverse or non-gaming products as other esports organizations have done.