Gaming Content Creation Group FaZe Clan to Go Public With $1 Billion Valuation

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Gaming Content Creation Group FaZe Clan to Go Public With $1 Billion Valuation

FaZe Clan, the Los Angeles-based esports team owner and collective of gaming influencers, will go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company valued at $1 billion, as it expands its gaming brand and eyes original content for streaming services like Netflix.


Launched in 2010, FaZe built a business creating esports teams (it now has 30 esports championships under its belt) and went to develop some of the most prominent gaming influencers in the U.S. The company courts younger audiences through brand partnerships with Gfuel, McDonald's, Totino's Pizza Rolls and hot names in merch like Bearbrick and Ethika.

The company said it reaches 350 million followers through its social media.

FaZe's chief financial officer Amit Bajaj said during a Monday investor call that FaZe expected its sales this year would be roughly $50 million, but now believes FaZe's revenue will rapidly outpace that in coming years following the merger as it delves even deeper into the influencer economy.

"We have a vast network of influence, and we are positioned at the intersection of how Gen Z consumes content and how they transact and engage with that content," FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink said during an investor call Oct. 25.

B. Riley's SPAC company B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp plans on merging with FaZe Clan. The deal will give FaZe Clan access to $120 million in capital through a private investment in public equity (PIPE) that's associated with the blank check company.

In addition, the Wall Street Journal reported the SPAC, a shell company set up to take a startup public, had $170 million that FaZe Clan could access — but that number could fall if investors withdraw ahead of the merger. SPAC arrangements have skyrocketed in the recent year as companies look for access to quick capital.

The merger must still be voted on by shareholders but when complete, FaZe will trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "FAZE." When the deal is complete, the SPAC will be renamed FaZe Holdings Inc.

FaZe knows the power courting celebrities has when it comes to bringing in new, younger audiences. Singer Pitbull is an investor in FaZe Clan, and in recent years the company has sought out sports pros to join its ranks as esports influencers, including Ben Simmons, Kyle Murray and LeBron James' son Bryce James, also known as Bronny.

In addition to repping the brand, many of FaZe Clan's influencers stream gameplay and post regular video blog updates of their lives in FaZe's lavish creator mansion in Los Angeles.

Trink said partnerships like the one with artist Takashi Murakami to create jerseys and other merchandise has been lucrative, bringing in nearly $1 million in mouse pad sales in one day.

B. Riley SPAC CEO Dan Shribman told the Journal FaZe is "very different than a lot of other explosive growth companies," because it can rapidly expand the brand digitally without spending much money.

"We're starting to move beyond social channels and develop original IP, providing us with opportunities to expand our platform into premium distribution channels, such as Netflix and HBO," Trink told investors on Monday. "We're also expanding into new content formats like podcasts, music (and) live."

Trink also said FaZe is looking to acquire other companies that create content or direct-to-consumer goods as it grows its business. "We believe that M&A (mergers and acquisitions) will be an important and value enhancing element of our strategy and have a very significant pipeline of opportunities we are currently evaluating," Trink said.

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Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
Image Source: Discover LA

In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.

Pickleball

Image Source: Modern Luxury Angelino

Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle


Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out


Day Trip to Catalina Island

Image Source: Love Catalina

Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities


Top Golf

Image Source: Topgolf

Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo


SoFi Stadium Tour

Image Source: Discover LA

A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours


Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch


Corporate Improv Sessions

Image Source: Improv for the People

A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


🤝 Venture Deals

LA Companies

  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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