Cloud9 have brought in millions from an eclectic collection of investors, and have pulled in $25 million in their first significant round of venture capital financing this past month. Among their new contributors are the wrestling giants of WWE.
Check out our Overwatch League primer.
According to a report from ESPN, the Series A funding comes from WWE, the Beverly Hill Sports Council, Monumental Sports & Entertainment co-owner Raul Fernandez, Creative Artists Agency co-founder Michael Ovitz, venture capital firm Founders Fund, and tech investor team David Sacks and Bill Lee, among others.
Apparently WWE had been considering investing in the esports space before settling on Cloud9. “We just looked around the space, looked at all the players and did our own evaluation of who we thought would be successful in the long term,” WWE exec George Barrios tells ESPN. Barrios went on to praise the team’s management, players, and expertise in the field.
Many of the investors from the smaller round earlier in the year also upped their stake, including game developers FunPlus Ventures and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is now a board observer for Cloud9, allowing him to sit in on the organization’s meetings.
Cloud9 themselves are one of the most successful organizations in esports, and recently secured the London spot for the upcoming Overwatch League. I’m sure they can rest easy with WWE investment in particular, since I’m sure that means Kurt Angle is ready to substitute for an ill player at a moment’s notice.