David Beckham-backed eSports startup Guild IPOs on London Stock Exchange
Back in June, we wrote about Guild, a London-based eSports startup backed the famous soccer star, David Beckham. His move into esports and investment in Guild is a natural progression given his experience developing sports businesses. His involvement in the launch of Guild offers a powerful opportunity to introduce his level of professional sports acumen to the world of esports and further strengthen this evolving sport.
Three months after Beckham’s investment, Guild Esports listed on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of around $52 million (£40 million).
Founded in London in September 2019, Guild is the first esports firm to go public on the LSE. It raised £20 million through the initial public offering. Guild wants to develop and manage a global esports team that can enter competitions and win prize money. Talented young gamers can earn millions of dollars a year through competitions, sponsorship deals, merchandise, and events.
The global esports market, which has enjoyed tremendous support in Asia and is now fast establishing itself as a mainstream entertainment globally, is currently valued at US$1.1bn and is projected to grow by 42% to US$1.56bn by 2023. The number of esports fans is estimated to be around 495m and is largely comprised of millennials – this number is projected to hit 646m by 2023.
In addition to Beckham, Guild has also secured the talent of London-based artist Fergus Purcell, creator of the iconic identity for skatewear label Palace, to design its brand and develop a unique lifestyle apparel line with an aesthetic that is authentic to the esports community and infused with his streetwear-inspired design philosophy. Fergus has a recognizable and distinctive design style influenced by pop culture, streetwear, and skate culture and collaborated with a diverse roster of fashion designers and music artists from Marc Jacobs.