Another Esports Industry Milestone as Astralis Plans First Team IPO
World number one Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team, Astralis out of Denmark, plans an IPO that will make it the first esports team to be listed on a public stock exchange.
Astralis Group will list on the Nasdaq Copenhagen exchange for small businesses on December 9, 2019, the move could raise the company the equivalent of between $18 and 22 million from the sale of shares at around $1.33 each.
Astralis Group Chief Executive Officer Nikolaj Nyholm, is confident in the IPO’s success, as per Bloomberg, the company has “pre-commitments” worth around $8 million. Nyholm says this promised investment comes “from a range of European and Asian investors.” The CEO and venture capitalist explained that he understands why some investors may be hesitant to commit to an industry with little historic play, yet, in the global investment markets. Nyholm says:
“In this respect it is also our responsibility to help educate the market through a continuous high level of information.”
Astralis is focusing long-term with its IPO rather than taking a more medium-term venture capital funding route. Nyholm says the IPO will allow Astralis to “bring new investors on board.” It plans to use the capital raised to invest in Astralis brands and media platforms and to “strengthen” its market position.
Esports has developed over the past decade into an incredible industry and a sport that is beginning to rival traditional sports. A first team IPO is a significant milestone and healthy sign of industry maturity. The public listing of Astralis, and potentially more esports companies and teams to follow in the future, gives esports further market exposure. This could potentially attract fans and investors outside of esports’ usual younger and gaming audiences. New Wave Esports, an esports investment company, publicly listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) in October.
Investment economist Per Hansen told Bloomberg that given interest already he expects the IPO to be “oversubscribed,” adding:
“There’s a lot of buzz around esports and what it might turn out to become in five years’ time.”
Nyholm says that Astralis believes “the foundation of some of the most valuable and iconic brands in 10 years’ time is being set today.”
Astralis has just defeated Team Liquid in the ECS Season 8 finals, only weeks after winning IEM Beijing, and perhaps now guarantees its number one spot in HLTV’s 2020 CS:GO world rankings.
The team has won over $7.6 million in prize money, as per esportsearnings.com, from a total of 80 tournaments to date.
Forbes puts the value of Cloud9, currently the most valuable esports company, at $400 million. The US team has won nearly $10 million across a number of game titles and 685 tournaments.
Astralis, Renegades, and ELEAGUE, have all formed new advertising and sponsorship partnerships this past week.