Shanghai-headquartered e-sports event organizer Versus Programming Network (VSPN) closed a USD 100 million Series B round led by internet giant Tencent (HKSE: 0700) and joined by Tiantu Capital, Susquehanna International Group, as well as short video and livestreaming firm Kuaishou, dealmaker Lighthouse Capital revealed on its WeChat channel on Monday.
“VSPN has entered into a high growth stage since Shanghai planned to build itself as a global e-sports hub (in 2017) and later Xi ’an, Chengdu, Beijing, as well as other places launched relevant policies and measures to support the development of the e-sports industry,” said Ying Shuling, who founded VSPN in 2016, according to the WeChat post.
“We will start a new round of strategic upgrading to extend the reach of our business, including building e-sports cultural parks, rolling out short video e-sports content, continuing to expand overseas, and developing derivative consumer goods,” he said.
The company, which produces services such as building and managing online and offline esports events, claims a 70% market share in China, according to its website. The company also owns physical venues where fans can connect and communicate with players in cities including Shanghai, Chengdu, and Seoul.
Since its launch, VSPN has hosted more than 10,000 contests on major games including Tencent’s Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite, Giant Network’s Battle of Balls and Supercell’s Clash Royale.
“Tencent is committed to work with outstanding companies to boost the industry’s sustainable development,” said Hou Miao, general manager of Tencent’s e-sports unit. “We are happy to support VSPN in that their leading position in the e-sports contest production sector and their far-reaching strategic eyesight has a significant meaning for Tencent to explore more deeply in the e-sports sector.”