Rivalry announces $20m funding round

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Toronto-based esports betting platform Rivalry has announced the completion of a $20m funding round to scale its operations and country licensing programme.

According to the release, the funding round comprised institutional investors from Canada, the United States, the European Union, and an unnamed ‘major gaming operator’. Additionally, Rivalry has announced its intention to pursue an initial public offering (IPO), anticipated to be completed later this year.

Rivalry logo
Credit: Rivalry

RELATED: Rivalry CEO Steven Salz on analyzing the esports betting audience

Steven Salz, Rivalry Co-founder and CEO, commented on the news in a release: “With the close of this funding round we are able to accelerate our expansion plans through new licences and grey markets under our existing regulatory regime, new product development, and our goal to provide the safest and most engaging sports betting experience in the world. While Rivalry started by focusing on esports betting, an increasing percentage of our business is traditional sports, and shortly a suite of original casino IP.

“Our ambition has always been to leverage esports as a pathway to the next generation of sports bettors and build a truly novel experience for them top to bottom.”

Rivalry launched officially in February 2018 with a core focus on esports wagering, but has since expanded into traditional sports offerings and proprietary casino games. Notably, the betting platform owns all of its intellectual property, forgoing white label solutions with in-house software development, which has helped provide a more intimate and customised user experience.

In an interview with Esports Insider last October, Salz elaborated on this aspect of the platform, insisting Rivalry is more akin to that of a technology company.

RELATED: FURIA bets on Rivalry with partnership

Rivalry has curated partnerships with a variety of teams across different regions of the world since its inception, including Fnatic, FURIA, beastcoast, and B8. Additionally, the operator sponsors a number of content creators, with a particular emphasis on the Latin American market.

“We are more confident than ever in the future of Rivalry. 2020 saw the business grow nearly 10x over the prior year, and early into 2021 we are tracking at over 400 per cent growth on a year over year basis,” Salz added.

“With this new round of funding we believe we will be able to accelerate our growth rate, and when combined with incredible new hires across all key divisions, multiple-country licences being completed in the near-term, and a brand that is growing rapidly amongst our target demographic in all key markets, we are excited for what the future holds at Rivalry.”

Esports Insider says: Rivalry is a company with a certain chip on its shoulder that has allowed it to continuously break through the crowded sports betting landscape. Its $20m infusion comes to little surprise given its acute understanding of, and strategy behind, next-generation betting and its audience.

ESI Digital Spring | 30-31st March

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