Blue Star Capital’s Guild Esports hails “good progress” made in FY21

Post date Jan 2022

Guild Esports (GILD), an investee firm of Blue Star Capital, said it made “good progress amid challenging conditions” throughout the period dating 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021.

Today, the esports organisation, which is co-owned by David Beckham and in 2020 became the first esport organisation to list on London’s stock exchange, published its first full year of operations as a publicly listed company in which it hailed a robust pipeline and strong growth. 

Commenting on the results, CEO, Kal Hourd, said Guild’s network audience and fan base has grown exponentially, making the firm the fastest growing esports team organisation in Europe. 

He said the major investment made across the business to scale up its activities – which resulted in a pre-tax loss of £8.8m over the period – has enabled it to establish a strong foundation for long-term revenue growth and resulted in three global sponsorship deals. 

Over the period, Guild generated revenues of £1.9m compared to £nil in the year prior, as the firm benefitted from first-time contributions from sponsorship deals signed earlier in the year. 

The increased loss before tax reflected a major investment across operational infrastructure, esports teams, the Guild Academy, content creation and the development of merchandising. 

Guild believes this investment is fundamental to its business model and long-term strategy. 

Guild says it is still at an early stage in its growth and also “well placed to benefit from long term industry fundamentals driving the esports sector worldwide.” The esports sector, which increased by 14.5% in value during 2021 alone, is now operating as a $1 billion industry. 

The company outlined that market growth is expected to continue and, according to data from Newzoo, it is predicted to reach $1.6bn by 2024. It added that the total viewing audience is estimated to increase from more than 400 million to around 650 million in the same period.

Since its debut, Guild has secured three sponsorships totalling £3.9m in contracted revenues. 

Hyper X, a leading gaming peripherals brand recently acquired by HP Inc from Kingston Technologies, became the company’s exclusive peripherals partner earlier this month. 

Meanwhile, Subway, the world’s largest submarine sandwich franchise, was signed as a main sponsor of Guild in March 2021, becoming Guild’s Official Quick-Service Restaurant Partner as well as an Official Academy Partner of Guild Esports in more than 50 EMEA markets. 

Deals such as these have laid a strong foundation for growth in sponsorship revenues from this year following their first-time contribution to revenues in 2H21, the company explained.

Looking ahead, the Company said it is well positioned to attract more brand partners in 2022.

Earlier this month, Guild signed its largest single sponsorship contract, a three-year £4.5m sponsorship with BitStamp was signed, providing a head start for the current year.

Guild said the pipeline of potential sponsors remains “robust” with several deals at advanced stages of negotiations. It added that this provides it with confidence “in adding significant sponsorship revenues to the current annualised revenue run rate at £3.1m for the year ending 30 September 2022, based on total contracted sponsorship revenues of £8.4m to date.”

“We have entered the new year with strong momentum and recently clinched our fourth and largest sponsorship deal to date. With Guild performing well operationally, I am confident that the hard work and investment made thus far will translate into significant improvements in revenue and value creation and I look forward to the future with great confidence,” said Hourd.