In a world where investing in the esports space is still an uncertainty, putting a spotlight on those that have thrived after suffering early struggles can help lead the way for others–and ReKTGlobal has done exactly that. Founded in 2016 by Amish Shaw and Dave Bialek, the esports conglomerate has found success both in the esports competitive scene along with its B2B and B2C arms.
ReKTGlobal owns Rogue, which has teams competing in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), Rocket League, Rainbow Six: Siege, and more. The company also operates the London Royal Ravens which compete in Activision-Blizzard’s Overwatch League.
As far as the company’s B2B and B2C operations, ReKT has partnered with TalentX to form TalentX Gaming, and its subsidiaries such as Fullcube and Greenlit Content have started to mature, adding additional revenue streams. These moves were all possible thanks to a Series A investment round in 2019 where ReKT secured $10.8M USD.
ReKT’s success can be largely attributed to the philosophy Shaw and Bialek have embraced from the start: that it will never simply be an esports competition company.
“We never ever started this business with the intention of being solely an esports competitive organization,” said Bialek. “Our intention was to be a pick-and-shovel infrastructure-focused business. That was our thesis. We wanted to provide best practices and processes to a market that was limited.”
All too often Shaw has seen companies that focus completely on fielding competitive esports teams fail or continue the need to secure additional funding. However in order to get ReKT off the ground, he knew that he had to create some “sizzle” and build a fan base, fielding teams was a necessity. Shaw also notes that there are other avenues to that end including the company’s relationship with Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo, a streamer with over 2.5M followers.
“Esports competitive is certainly a major part of ReKT and we want to be champions. Lupo has also been a huge part of what we are doing here with his amazing charity contributions and things, but It’s through these different aspects of our company that we feel like we built something that no other organization can claim to have at this point,” said Shaw. “We got together and wanted to build it with our network. Not being billionaires, you must be scrappy and figure it out. And that’s what we’ve done. We’ve been scrappy. We’ve been lean. We’ve never raised anywhere near what anyone else has done money-wise.”
Having done what ReKT has with one Series A round looks impressive when compared to other similarly positioned companies and their funding. ReKT had made serious challenges to the scene in both the competitive and business side of the esports space.
“Think about how successful we’ve been with operators and how successful we can be. When I look at all these valuations and everything in the market, I try to look at what’s behind it, and how much more can they drive and how fast?,” Shaw said. “Well, not only did we do the land grab over the last 18 months for all these assets, but now we’ve gotten to the point where the foundation is set and the core is firm and now all we gotta do is acquire growth capital.”
The land grab that Shaw is referring to is the company’s partnership with TalentX in which the two formed TalentX, a talent management and entertainment company, and the acquisition of Fullcube and Greenlit Content. Fullcube will look to use its expertise in fan base creation while Greenlit will create marketing campaigns and strategy using its cadre of writers and video producers. It’s the trifecta Shaw and Bialek were looking for.
“Now we have access to in-house inventory in which to build product and tech teams. We have Fullcube and Greenlit,” Shaw explained. “It’s about this new kind of world of short form video and the explosive growth of that and how to take advantage of all of these talented content creators who have millions of followers. The question becomes how do we get them matriculated into the ReKTGlobal business plan. Now we have the help and this will help us solve the marketing business puzzle, but know we have more pieces we can’t announce yet.”
Until that announcement comes, ReKT has thus far proven that it has the ability to acquire assets that have an interconnectivity with its entire operation including the competitive side of its portfolio. What comes next? We’ll have to wait and see.
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