November 30, 2020

David Beckham’s Guild Esports heads for London IPO

Former soccer superstar David Beckham’s e-sports business is going public.

Guild Esports will float 40% of its shares via a London Stock Exchange listing. Doing so will raise £20 million, which is a little less than $26 million—cash the company will use to invest in the business and to hire 20 pro players by the end of 2021.

Guild teams will play in four popular games: Fortnite, CS: Go, Rocket League, and Fifa.

E-sports is a rapidly growing form of entertainment, not just for players but for spectators. Close to 500 million people around the world watch it, generating almost $1 billion in revenues in 2019, according to the e-sports analytics and market research company Newzoo.

Beckham has been president of the Major League Soccer club Inter Miami CF since 2018. Five years earlier, he retired after two decades as a top soccer player who played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, L.A. Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain, and the England team, which he captained for half a dozen years.

The listing stands to breathe more life into London’s long-sluggish IPO market. Last week, e-commerce firm the Hut Group announced it would list there in a $1.2 billion offering that would be the largest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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