Cloud9 Raises Series A Financing from FunPlus, Reddit Co-Founder, and More

by Kevin Knocke

Major esports team Cloud9 has finished up a round of Series A financing led by Daniel Fiden at FunPlus Ventures.

Other significant investors include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, former Blizzard employee and now Bonfire Studios co-founder Rob Pardo, and several prominent athletes and sports professionals like San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence (who is himself a noted gaming and esports enthusiast), San Francisco 49er's hall of fame quarterback Joe Montana, NBA center Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihaptitiya, and LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly.

Ohanian himself said, "Growing up, I wanted to own an NFL team. now, the obvious move is to invest in an esports franchise and I'm thrilled it's Cloud9."

Cloud9 is already one of the largest brands in esports and competes in essentially every major esport out there, with teams in League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Super Smash Bros., Dota 2, Vainglory, and H1Z1 King of the Kill, the latter being their most recent addition to the franchise.

The team says that this will allow them to continue pushing forward into further esports industry expansions, but only mentions keeping the current conditions for players intact.

Jack Etienne, CEO of Cloud9, says, "With this investment you can expect Cloud9 to continue our expansion into the esports market while maintaining an exceptional experience for our players."

It's unknown if this investment is related to the SEC filing that was completed on Nov. 23rd of last year, where the organization was publicly known to have sold $2.8 million in equity to private investors of $3 million they were looking for at that time.

This round of investing would, of course, bring Cloud9 into the fold of other esports organizations that have had significant investments from sports organizations. This differs, however, as the primary investment is being led by FunPlus, a Chinese game developer and publisher based out of Beijing.

Also investing is United Talent Agency, a major talent agency based in Beverly Hills, California. United has been steadily increasing their investments into the video game world, and as United already operates there and in the sports world, a move into esports seems to make sense.