The Chiefs Esports Club Owner ICON Esports Sells a 50% Stake at a 3.32M Valuation

Australian gaming and esports company ICON Esports, the parent of Australian esports organization The Chiefs Esports Club, announced that it has secured a $2.15M AUD ($1.66M USD) financing round from Australian payment processor SQID Technologies to expand its sales and business development activity and to support growth. The transaction valued ICON Esports at $4.3M ($3.32M).

Canadian Securities Exchange-listed SQID Technologies acquired a 50% equity interest in ICON Esports through the financing round. Consequently, ICON Esports’ board of directors was reconstituted to comprise two nominees of SQID, being its CEO Athan Lekkas and one of its non-executive directors Michael Clarke, and two nominees of ICON, being its CEO Nick Bobir and existing board member and investor Nathan Taylor.

ICON Esports formed in early 2019 when a group of investors acquired Australian esports organization Tainted Minds and rebranded it to ICON Esports. Investors included Nathan Taylor, a managing director for capital markets at Commonwealth Bank; Raymond Burke, a board member of Highlanders Super Rugby; Edward Abbot, CEO of QMS Sport; Mathew Davey, founder and CEO of Ticketdirect; and Adrian Whittingham, an executive director at Pinnacle Investment Management.

The organization initially fielded teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Fortnite, and PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds but disbanded all of its teams by June 2019 as it acquired the more prominent Australian esports organization The Chiefs Esports Club.

At the end of November 2020, SQID Technologies announced that it could not continue to service a large group of its customers, representing 94% of its total operations, due to the inability to comply with payment card data security requirements. Following that incident, the company started reviewing its team structure and acquisition opportunities to complement its payments software and intellectual property. SQID also revealed that it had $3M ($2.32M) in cash assets to finance an acquisition.

In the ICON Esports investment announcement, SQID CEO Lekkas mentioned that “with the implementation of SQID’s resources including our payment technology and mobile platforms, we look forward to continuing to exponentially grow both businesses together with shared goals and vision for the future.” ICON Esports will focus on further developing revenue drivers outside of the core esports organization, including opportunities in the form of strategic mergers and acquisitions and the launch of its new e-commerce business.

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