BITKRAFT Portfolio Company, Epics.gg, a Digital Trading Card Platform for Esports, Raises a $2M Seed Round
We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce our investment in Epics.gg, a digital trading card platform for esports. We've seen several successful trading card companies in traditional sports and entertainment space, and, up until now, trading cards have been completely missing from the esports market. BITKRAFT believes that Epics.gg is the perfect combination of games, sports, and entertainment intellectual property with a digital and mobile first approach, and we couldn't be more thrilled to help the Epics team bring this to market.
Each card includes an epic design, rich media, stats and can also include digital signatures and in-game items. For more information, you can check out the full release here. Don’t miss the coverage in VentureBeat and Forbes.
Manticore Games announced today that it has secured a $15 million Series A round led by Benchmark. BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, Correlation Ventures, CrunchFund, Macro Ventures, SV Angel and several high-profile gaming and tech entrepreneurs join the round of funding.
"The Manticore team is working in stealth mode on a new form of hardcore multiplayer gameplay, leveraging user generated content," said Frederic Descamps, Chief Executive Officer. "One of our core mottos is to create gameplay worth sharing," added Jordan Maynard, Chief Creative Officer. "We want to make something truly original for gamers and creators alike."
The official press release can be found here. Coverage can be read on both VentureBeat and TechCrunch.
Tier One Entertainment, a gaming and esports talent agency recently launched by cosplay queen, Alodia Gosiengfiao, and esports veteran, Tryke Gutierrez, announced today a significant investment from BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, the world’s first esports specific fund.
Tier One Entertainment, which launched in April of this year, aims to revolutionize the esports landscape in Southeast Asia by developing gaming talents with a focus on shoutcasters, streamers and professional teams in the region while also helping brands work with top esports influencers to reach the coveted gaming audience. The infusion of capital will enable Tier One to purchase equipment for production, expand their team, and build a studio for talents.
"We are fortunate that BITKRAFT has shown faith in the region," said Tier One Co-Founder, Tryke Gutierrez. "We have always believed that Southeast Asia has what it takes to take off in the international arena. With BITKRAFT on our side, the investment will fast track our plans.”
Tier One Co-Founder Alodia Gosiengfiao added, “There are still limited opportunities in the esports and gaming world, particularly in the Philippines. With BITKRAFT's investment, we now have the power to create real careers in the esports industry by investing in talented people and supporting their growth."
BITKRAFT Esports Ventures is led by Jens Hilgers, a 20-year esports veteran and founder of ESL. His team is composed of investors from both the gaming and sports world, including Delivery Hero co-founder Markus Fuhrmann and gaming industry veteran Minard Hamilton.
Based in Berlin and Los Angeles, the epicenters of the western esports world, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures incubates, builds, and invests in esports startups along with a group of the industry’s most influential companies and executives. BITKRAFT has raised €18M in its first closing, which was announced last month.
"South East Asia is the fastest growing esports market and we feel that Tryke, Alodia and their team are outstanding entrepreneurs with great passion and undisputable esports experience. We are proud to support the Tier One team,” said Jens Hilgers.
We are thrilled to officially announce the launch of BITKRAFT Esports Ventures. Based in Berlin and Los Angeles, the epicenters of the western esports world, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures incubates, builds, and invests in esports startups along with a group of the industry’s most influential companies and executives. BITKRAFT has raised €18M in its first closing, with a target final close of €30M, and will invest €100k-400k in each startup.
The team is led by Jens Hilgers, a twenty-year esports veteran and the founder of ESL, the world’s largest esports company which was acquired by MTG in 2015. Markus Fuhrmann, co-founder of Delivery Hero, and Minard Hamilton, a senior executive who previously held roles at EA Mobile/JAMDAT, ESPN and Activision, round out the founding partnership.
The fund’s limited partners include several leading investors and entrepreneurs in the world of sports, entertainment, and gaming including Sumit Gupta, Fabrice Grinda, Hany Nada, Rick Thompson, MTG, Segerstrale Family Trust, aXiomatic Group, Bertelsmann's BDMI, Inner Circle Sports LLC, among others.
Investing since March 2016, BITKRAFT has already backed ten esports companies in Europe, Asia, and the United States including Boom.tv, Kek.tv, and DOJO Madness. The firm plans to add four more startups to their portfolio in 2017.
Esports is a global phenomenon, and BITKRAFT’s worldwide investment strategy, combined with the partners’ extensive international experience, including scaling Delivery Hero to 40 countries; rolling out ESL globally, with a focus on China; and driving ESPN’s international expansion are a huge value-add for startups in the esports space.
Make sure to check out our coverage in Bloomberg, Forbes, and Venture Beat. The official press release can be found here.
As the world's first Esports specific investment fund, BITKRAFT is often considered the first stop in understanding the growing ecosystem. Consequently we are frequently asked what Esports is all about and why it has recently attracted so much attention.
To answer these questions we put together an Esports 101 White Paper that serves to connect the dots for those not currently engrained in the Esports ecosystem. So whether you are a CMO at a company exploring sponsorship options, a journalist who wants a solid background, or a spectator interested in what the future holds for Esports, BITKRAFT’s white paper was written with you in mind.
Below you can find the TLDR version, and the full white paper can be found here: