Beckham takes esports investment public

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Football legend and Inter Miami owner David Beckham is to float his esports team on the London Stock Exchange in the hopes of raising tens of millions of pounds to help fund its entry to the world of online sport.

Guild Esports launched in June and it intends to field teams to compete in four global online games — Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League and FIFA.

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As well as competing in major esports tournaments, the company is looking to create player training and scouting infrastructure modelled on the talent academies in the Premier League.

Beckham is a founding shareholder with a significant minority stake in the business and will use his “global influence and following to support the development of the company’s brand and business.”

With career earnings of over $730 million, Beckham is said to be worth over $47 million. In 2019, Forbes reported that Beckham bought a one-third stake in his own company, Beckham Holdings, for $50m, placing a $150m valuation on the company

Funds raised by floating the company will be used to recruit new players, invest in the company’s brand and expand the company’s activities.

The company has already raised £5m in private equity funding and is seeking a valuation of £50m.

“Guild will be the first esports franchise to join the London stock market,” executive chairman of Guild Carleton Curtis said. “It will provide us with the cache, credibility and capital to fulfil our ambition to become one of the world’s top 10 esports franchises within three years.”

The company said it intended to create revenue through tournament winnings, digital marketing opportunities, sponsorship, membership, merchandise and promotional tours and events.