Esports raises $9 million for global expansion

In-game advertising platform announced on Tuesday it raised a $9 million financing round co-led by BITKRAFT Ventures and HBSE Ventures.

BITKRAFT Ventures is a gaming, esports, and interactive media-focused venture capital firm, while HBSE Ventures is the investment arm of Dignitas backer Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.

Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball, WPP, Sony Innovation Fund, Alumni Ventures Group, Gaingels, Goal Ventures, SuperAwesome Co-Founder and CEO Dylan Collins and Riot Games Co-Founder Marc Merrill were also among the investors, according to reports.

Tel Aviv-based Anzu said it plans to use the money it raised to “catalyze its commercial growth and fuel sales and marketing activities to propel the company forward on a global scale,” according to The Esports Observer.

Anzu is also seeking to expand into the U.S., starting with Los Angeles and New York, as well as pursue opportunities in Singapore, China, and other major locations to grow networking opportunities with global game developers and local advertisers.

Anzu, which has raised $17 million to date, has a client base that includes game publishers Ubisoft, Lion Castle, and Nacon, in addition to international companies Pepsico, Samsung, American Eagle and Vodafone.

The gaming industry, which has become bigger than the music and film industries combined, is expected to reach around $257 billion by 2025.

“Gaming is one activity that has exploded over the past year and increasingly an important advertising channel,” said WPP CEO Mark Read told the website Today in European tech.

--Field Level Media