LCK Team DRX Closes $10M Series A Investment
South Korean esports management organization DRX has secured a $10M USD Series A investment to strengthen its infrastructure and welfare for players, global content production, and marketing efforts. Participants in the financing round included KOSPI-listed global exporter of luxury handbags JS Corporation, Seoul Investment Partners, Quantum Venture Korea, Shinhan Capital, Wonik Investment Partners, and Devsisters Ventures.
Additionally, Korean actor Bae Yong-joon, who was awarded the Korean Hwa-Gwam Order of Culture Merit by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in recognition of his contribution to Korean culture, joined as a shareholder in DRX and will also serve as an advisor for DRX focusing on strengthening the team’s global branding.
DRX operates a team in the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), which is currently leading the standings. Moreover, the organization runs three academy teams to develop young talent and developed a big data system to discover talented players. The investment prepares the organization financially for the upcoming franchising of the LCK, as existing teams such as DRX will have to pay a flat entry fee of $8.2M if accepted into the new league format.
DRX’s largest shareholder ATU Partners, which is invested via its ATU eSports Growth Fund No.1, and its parent company Kibo Steel shared their intention to invest an additional $12.5M going forward. Kibo Steel, a steel manufacturing and distribution company that recorded $420M in revenues for 2019 and total assets of $182M, is owned by the family of DRX Chairman and ATU Partners CEO Park Jung-moo.
The ATU eSports Growth Fund No.1 was launched with initial funding of $17M in late 2019 and acquired a majority stake in DRX and a stake in talent agency AZYT. In an interview with The Esports Observer in December 2019, Park revealed that ATU Partners is targeting to create a second esports growth fund in Q3 2020, aiming at initial funding of $50M to seek investment in Asian and U.S. digital data platforms & analytics solutions, and coaching platforms.
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