Topline: Esports organization Misfits Gaming Group is launching a $10 million seed fund and incubator for gaming startups called MSF.IO.
- Misfits will hold an open application period and choose two startups from around the globe by January, giving the companies an option to also incubate at its South Florida headquarters.
- The $10 million is self-funded, and in total, Misfits wants to accept five startups in its initial batch of investments.
- The organization isn’t limiting themselves to just esports-focused startups, instead looking at data and analytic companies; educational startups that may, for example, help players with skill development; and game development studios.
- Misfits is joined by a group of advisors, including James Kuhn, president of real estate company Newmark Knight Frank; Rich Kracum, cofounder of private equity firm Wind Point Partners; and Nicola Piggott, cofounder of esports PR agency The Story Mob and former comms lead at Riot Games.
- With team franchises in the League of Legends European Championship, the Overwatch League and the new Call of Duty League, Misfits Gaming is estimated to be worth $120 million by Forbes.
Crucial Quote: “We recognized that there is plenty of investment at the highest levels of gaming and esports,” said Misfits cofounder and CEO Ben Spoont. “However, we feel in our mind that entrepreneurs and small businesses are quite often overlooked by mainstream sources of funding.”
Key Background: Spoont compared the venture to Y Combinator and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Innovation Lab, with the twist being they’ll focus exclusively on gaming and esports. It’s another way an esports club is diversifying its business. Other groups like Team Liquid owner Axiomatic Gaming have invested in outside ventures, but with its optional incubation period, Spoont believes MSF.IO is first of its kind in the industry. The organization doesn’t plan to integrate these companies into their esports operations, simply being open to invest in the best businesses.