Olivia R. April 18, 2019
Esports organization Gen.G has raised $46 million through various celebrity investors and Silicon Valley funds.
Actor Will Smith and Japanese soccer player Keisuke Honda provided capital through Dreamers Fund. They have joined retired NBA player Chris Bosh in advising Gen.G's creative and commercial efforts.
Los Angeles Clippers minority owner Dennis Wong and Alibaba Group's former chair of US investments Michael Zeisser were also among the latest investors.
Stanford University invested in the esports organization, along with Silicon Valley firms New Enterprise Associates, Conductive Ventures, and Battery Ventures. NEA's Rick Yang will reportdly join the board.
Silicon Valley Bank not only joined the round, but also became an official marketing partner for Gen.G.
According to Gen.G CEO Chris Park, they were "over-subscribed" when it came to potential investors and sponsors. He said the organization had to determie which partners would best match their vision, while also offering unique contributions and expertise in areas the organization wants to grow into.
“We have a roster of investors that understand the challenge of being truly global and have a record of helping brands and companies meet that ambition,” Park said.
Gen.G announced that the funding will help to launch a youth academy program and open a team headquarters in Los Angeles this summer. They're also looking to expand into new games and new regions.
Gen.G currently owns Overwatch League team Seoul Dynasty. They're currently 15th in the standings with a 3-6-0 record. In 2017, Gen.G acquired Samsung Galaxy's roster, who had just been crowned the League of Legends World Champions. Last year, the team competed at the LoL KeSPA Cup, losing to Griffin in the finals. But 2019 has been difficult for the veteran roster, as they were unable to qualify for the LCK spring playoff.
Currently, Gen.G has a very specific vision to bridge the East and West through investment.