Esports organisations, startup, and scaleup companies operating in the UK have raised £42 million in funding during 2020.
This was a record-breaking year for esports in the UK, according to the research published by the data platform Beauhurst and London-based innovation and technology campus, Here East.
Both companies have been analysing the esports market in the UK since 2011, tracking the investments that have so far been made in the industry.
UK esports companies and organisations have received £138 million in funding over the past decade.
According to the research, 61% or £85 million of the invested capital was funnelled into the esports industry within the last two years. Furthermore, a total of 97 funding rounds, almost 45% of the total number, occurred within the same time period.
The funding rounds are getting more profitable, too. In 2020, around £27 million was raised across 18 rounds of funding. In 2021, we already have £15 million across just eight funding rounds so far. This isn’t surprising, considering that 95% of all UK esports funding happened after 2015, and the past year saw COVID-19 restrictions lead to a surge in esports popularity.
“The data shows that fast growth esports businesses in the UK took eight years to secure the same amount of investment they have secured in the last 24 months. It’s clear the sector is experiencing exponential growth and demonstrating remarkable resilience during the challenges posed by the global health pandemic,” said the head of research at Beauhurst, Henry Whorwood.
“The number of esports startups securing investment for the first time is also highly encouraging, suggesting investors see real long-term growth potential in esports and are willing to back early-stage businesses in the sector.”
There are 43 fast-expanding esports businesses in the UK, and 67% of them are London-based.
The most successful esports brand in the UK is Fnatic, which raised £51 million in only seven funding rounds. Fnatic investors include companies such as Crowdcube and Beringea. Other successful esports organisations include FACEIT and Guild Esports, which raised £22m and £20m during 2020.
Earlier in 2021, Here East, Arena Consulting, and London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) started an initiative for creating an esports cluster at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
“Two record-breaking years for British esports startup and scaleup investment is just the start of what will be a new age for British esports. The scale of investment starting to enter British esports startups will accelerate the growth of esports teams, venues and production companies across the country. Combining the UK’s world-class expertise in tech, gaming and creative industries, I am confident that London can become a global capital for esports innovation,” said Gavin Poole, the CEO at Here East.
Esports are an exciting prospect for both gamers and betting enthusiasts. It’s why the best online betting venues have started offering a variety of esports betting options to their users, and more traditional betting sites are joining suit every day.