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.