While aXiomatic didn’t reveal the funding amount, Bloomberg reported the round totaled $26 million. It also included participation from Declaration Capital, the family office of David M. Rubenstein, who is the co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group. Curtis Polk, managing partner and alternate governor of Hornets Sports & Entertainment, also joined as an investor.
Jordan, who today owns the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, led the investment through his family office, according to the company’s release.
“I’m excited to expand my sports equity portfolio through my investment in aXiomatic,” Jordan said in a prepared statement. “Esports is a fast-growing, international industry and I’m glad to partner with this great group of investors.”
Axiomatic began operating in November 2015, and is the parent company of Team Liquid, which runs a professional gaming team. It plans to power “even more engaging esports experiences,” and strengthen existing partnerships with the new capital, according to its release.
In September, I reported on how global venture investment in the fledgling field of organized professional competitive video gaming surged to $701 million over 60 deals in the first half of 2018, according to Crunchbase research. That was up 73 percent compared to $403.7 million raised across 53 deals in the first half of 2017.
Also in September, I wrote about how more and more National Basketball Association players were getting into the venture funding game with the goal of taking startups to the next level, and how that wasn’t an entirely new phenomenon.
As time goes on, I expect we’ll only see more sports figures invest in startups – especially in the growing sector of esports.
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