Esports organization Cloud9 has announced it has completed a Series A financing round with FunPlus Ventures.
The rather hefty investor group includes San Francisco 49ers Hall of Famer Joe Montana, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, and NBA center Andrew Bogut.
“We’ve formed a fantastic group of investors to help push Cloud9 to the next level,” co-founder and CEO of Cloud9 Jack Etienne said. “With this investment you can expect Cloud9 to continue our expansion into the esports market while maintaining an exceptional experience for our players.”
Other investors include Tesla board directors Antonio Gracias, Kimbal Musk and investor Bill Lee, Signia Venture Partners co-founder Rick Thompson, the Founders Fund co-founder Ken Howery and partner Brian Singerman, Bonfire Studios co-founders Min Kim and Rob Pardo (former lead designer on World of Warcraft and Blizzard CCO), Jam City co-founder Josh Yguado, Eldridge Industries founder and LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, United Talent Agency, t, and Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya.
Cloud9 will be using the funds and relationships from the financing round to garner new partnerships and sponsors to grow its brand.
“Cloud9 is a fantastic organization that has shown throughout the years that it has what it takes to continuously contend for championships in multiple esports titles,” said Joe Montana, Liquid 2 Ventures co-founder and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. “The players of Cloud9 work hard to always compete at the highest level and the organization’s leadership strives to provide a positive atmosphere that allows its players the opportunity to be in a position to do their best.”
The crossover between esports and traditional sports continues to be a trend in the industry. Other big-name investment groups in the same vein include Shaquille O’Neil and A-Rod purchasing a stake in NRG Esports, Miami Heat’s partnership with Misfits, and of course, Rick Fox’s team Echo Fox.