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Having exploded in popularity in recent years, the world of esports is primed for a huge opportunity in the form of the metaverse.
That’s the thinking behind mixed reality company Infinite Reality’s $470 million all-stock acquisition of esports startup RektGlobal, announced earlier today. Infinite Reality—itself the product of a merger earlier this year between creator platform Display Social and production house Thunder Studios—already operates a 150,000-square-foot studio in Long Beach featuring an esports arena, as well as dedicated XR and motion capture stages. With its RektGlobal purchase, the company is only doubling down on its metaverse bet with an emphasis on gaming.
Founded in 2017, RektGlobal is backed by a star-studded roster of investors including the rock band Imagine Dragons, DJ and crypto advocate Steve Aoki and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. The startup operates two esports teams that compete in leagues dedicated to popular titles like “League of Legends” and “Call of Duty.” But RektGlobal’s teams aren’t the only reason that Infinite Reality swooped in; there’s also a plethora of metaverse-adjacent ventures that it owns, such as influencer talent agency TalentX Entertainment and esports production studio Greenlit Content, which will now be folded under Infinite Reality’s umbrella.
“We want to be a $30 billion company and we think we can get there quicker [with Infinite Reality],” RektGlobal founder and chairman Amish Shah told Forbes today.
Infinite Reality, meanwhile, is far from finished making moves—with plans in the works for a merger with, curiously, smoke and fire alarm manufacturer Universal Security Instruments that would see Infinite Reality become a publicly traded company. RektGlobal had its own plans to go public, but abandoned a SPAC deal with Baron Davis’ blank-check company, Bull Horn Holdings, to merge with the metaverse firm instead.
Infinite Reality CEO John Acunto told Bloomberg that his company is now in discussions to raise $150 million in a private placement deal ahead of its public debut that would value the combined Infinite Reality-RektGlobal entity at more than $2.5 billion. Acunto added that the company has little ambition to become profitable in the next two to three years; rather, it plans to pour “a tremendous amount of investment” into building out its metaverse tools and capabilities.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t see dollar signs in the near future—particularly given the explosion of metaverse-related opportunities now emerging across media. “Together, there’s no reason we can’t do $100 million in revenue in 2022,” Shah told Bloomberg. — Samson Amore
On Tuesday, the Marina del Rey-based metaverse startup announced a $150 million Series C funding round led by Silicon Valley private equity firm Silver Lake.
After 14 years in stealth, the energy startup is going commercial with machines that convert harmful greenhouse gasses into clean hydrogen.
The Pasadena-based food-tech startup has partnered with the fast-casual chain to roll out an AI-powered coffee monitoring system that aims to provide customers with freshly brewed coffee throughout the day.
The Masterclass-like startup lets people learn creative skills from renowned professional artists and artisans via 30-day online courses.
The social media firm has launched Dynamic Stories, which allows news organizations to more easily share their content on the Snapchat app.
What We're Reading Elsewhere...
- Snapchat’s accelerator program, Yellow, announces its latest startup cohort.
- Electric vehicles are having a supply issue with battery chargers.
- TikTok launches AR camera effects for creators.
- Netflix is facing a defamation lawsuit from the subjects of the docuseries “Afflicted.”
- Livestreaming platform Veeps unveils a new lineup of virtual concerts and apps.