- With $17 million in monetary support from Marubeni and investors, Fnatic seeks to expand in Asia
- The organization will establish a base of operations in Japan, where its R6 team will move.
- Fnatic’s goal is to profit from the growing Asian esports market
After almost two decades since its founding, Fnatic seeks to expand to Asia and raises $17 million in funding for that ends.
Fnatic Now Big in Japan
Fnatic is an esports organization that was created back in 2004 when esports was still young. Since then, the industry has grown a lot, and so has Fnatic, numbering 110 employees as of now. As esports’ popularity has been skyrocketing in Asia, the organization now seeks to catch the wave and establish a permanent foothold there.
As Fnatic has turned into a big name in the industry, it attracted some major financial support. The biggest support for the organization game from the Japanese Marubeni Corporation, although there have been other investors and a venture debt from Bootstrap as well. In total, Fnatic gathered a significant sum of $17 million for expanding in Asia.
Fnatic’s CEO, Sam Mathews, spoke with GamesBeat. In the correspondence, he revealed more about his vision:
“We had a lot of inbound after our crowd raise and decided to advance our future raise now to speed up our expansion as a performance-focused brand. We’re moving into Japan and launching digital products alongside our continued investment into advanced esports equipment.”
For now, Fnatic’s plans seem to be to establish a base in Japan. The organization’s professional team in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is also expected to move into the new Asian headquarters.
In 2020 Fnatic did a crowdfunding round that attracted numerous investors. In the same year, the organization’s esports equipment saw a 52% increase in profit. The organization currently sports 40 athletes across eight titles.
Asian Esports on the Rise
It isn’t hard to see why Fnatic chose to expand to Asia. According to statistics and estimates, the esports market in China is expected to increase by 250% between 2019 and 2023. The tendency of expansion is already a fact as 2020 saw a 42% increase in esports attendees. Streaming platforms such as Twitch have also experienced rapid growth.
Newzoo keeps following the trends and expects the Chinese audience to reach an astonishing 92 million this year. Furthermore, it projects that the global esports audience to surpass half a billion by 2024. The popularity of esports is already so high that the Olympic Committee that has long been reluctant about them now greenlit an official Olympic-licensed esports event.
Mathews revealed that Fnatic has benefited from the transition to digital that was ushered by COVID-19. According to him, more people have started playing than ever.
“People made friends, and families could be social with other houses, all over games on the internet. Viewership has skyrocketed, and ultimately more acceptance than ever has come with it.“
Fnatic keeps showing a go-getter mentality. The organization currently not only fields some of the best esports professionals but has become its own brand, selling both digital and physical products. It will be exciting to see how Fnatic fares in Asia.