Andy “Reginald” Dinh’s Team SoloMid carved out its place in esports, with teams in the North America League of Legends Championship Series, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and H1Z1. When League of Legends turn to a franchising system last year, many teams raised money, accepted buyouts, or lost their spots to billionaire owners. However, Dinh stayed independent. That changes today. According to Forbes, TSM’s parent company, Swift, received $37 million in Series A funding.
According to what Dinh told Forbes, ““TSM has always run a very lean operation, so we haven’t set ourselves up to take advantage of the fast growth that this market is experiencing, so that’s what we’re trying to prepare ourselves to do. We’ve got a really good group of investors … it’s going to help us accomplish what we want for TSM.”
Series A funding is the first round of stock offered by a company to a venture capital investor. In this case, Bessemer Venture Partners, which includes big names like Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Jerry Yang, headed the investment. The investment spans not only TSM’s teams, but also their network and online gaming analytics like FortniteMaster and ProBuilds.
Where the Money is Going
TSM allocated the money into two major channels. First, the company set aside $10 million for acquisitions and investments in gaming. Second, TSM plans to use the $20 million for esports specifically. Of the $20 million, a portion will go to pay franchising fees and the other to building an esports facility in Los Angeles. Such a facility would help players have a centralized location to train, make content, and interact with fans. According to Dinh, “It’s really important to have one single base where we can build up that TSM culture.”
TSM built its brand from the bottom up, with Dinh transitioning from League of Legends player to business owner. The name “TSM” is well-known within gaming and with its presence, TSM gathered a lot of support. Besides the investment, TSM is sponsored by Geico, Gillette, Dr. Pepper and Chipotle. With the investment, TSM looks to be unstoppable. Stephen Curry tweeted “Hyped to be part of what [Dinh] is building with TSM.” As Esports becomes bigger and bigger as an industry, prominent figures are looking to get in. With Dinh still having majority stake and as head of the company, TSM now has the means and the people for a bright future.
Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.