David Beckham’s Guild Esports looks to raise ‘UK£20m’ from IPO

UK-based startup will be first competitive gaming franchise to join London Stock Exchange.

by Sam Carp

David Beckham’s Guild Esports looks to raise ‘UK£20m’ from IPO
  • Guild aiming for UK£50m valuation; down from initial UK£100m target
  • 40% of company’s shares to be made available on LSE
  • Funding to be spent on player recruitment, brand building and business expansion

UK-based Guild Esports is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to support its future expansion into the world of competitive gaming. 

Guild is looking to raise UK£20 million (US$25.7 million) from the IPO, according to the Financial Times, which added that around 40 per cent of the company’s shares will be made available.

The funding will be used to recruit new players, invest in the Guild brand and expand the company’s activities.

The FT report added that Guild is aiming for a valuation of UK£50 million (US$64.3 million), which is down considerably on an initial target of UK£100 million (US$128.6 million).

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

Guild said in an official release that it plans to build its esports teams by establishing a player training and scouting infrastructure modelled on the talent academies in English soccer’s Premier League.

The company initially plans to compete in Fortnite, CS:Go, Rocket League and FIFA, while it intends to generate revenue through tournament winnings, digital marketing opportunities, sponsorship, membership, merchandise and promotional tours and events.

Beckham, whose investment in Guild was announced in June, is to ‘use his global influence and following’ to help grow the company’s brand and business.

Curtis added: “The growing global popularity of esports has enabled several existing franchises to monetise their activities through sponsorship, retail, merchandising, apparel and product licensing, new media and mobile, broadcasting and tournaments.”

Zeus Capital and Mirabaud Securities are acting as Guild’s brokers and bookrunners for the IPO.