Krafting a new eSports investment opportunity

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The founder of eSports League (ESL) and eSports data service DOJO Madness, Jens Hilgers, has launched a pro-gaming specific investment fund which will invest and incubate eSports startups.

Based in Berlin and Los Angeles, Bitkraft eSports Ventures (BeV) has already raised €18m for what it believes is a world’s first eSports venture capital idea. The company has hopes of raising up to €30m, investing between €100,000-€400,000 in each idea.

Hilgers is a 20-year veteran of the eSports scene and was a part of one of the more high-profile developments in the space in recent years when he sold ESL to MTG in 2015. MTG paid €78m for a 75 percent stake.

DOJO Madness also recently raised a second round of funding totalling $6m. the money came from Raine Ventures, K Cube Ventures and from existing investors including Bitkraft.

Alongside Hilgers, Markus Fuhrmann, co-founder of DeliveryHero, and Minard Hamilton, previously a senior executive at EA Mobile and Activision are also founding partners,

“eSports happens at the intersection of video games and sports, where new opportunities and excitement exists,” said Hilgers. “This fund is the culmination of building and scaling eSports and creating outstanding services and products that increase enjoyment for both players and fans.”

He added that the aim of the fund was to create intrinsic value in eSports. Bitkraft has already been investing since March 2016, and it has backed ten eSports companies in Europe, Asia, and the US. The investments include Boom.tv, Kek.tv, and Dojo Madness. The firm plans to add four more startups to the portfolio in 2017.

Among the companies already on the Bitkraft investment roster is eSportsPools, the betting startup that took part in 2015 edition EiG Launchpad in Berlin.

Bitkraft’s limited partners include several leading investors and entrepreneurs in the world of sports, entertainment, and gaming including MTG, aXiomatic Group, and Bertelsmann’s BDMI.

GamCrowd News will be speaking to Jen Hilgers exclusively next week.