Better Collective, a leading digital sports media group, continues to expand within esports by acquiring Futbin and related domains, constituting world-leading esports media brands within esoccer (FIFA), for a total price of up to 105 mEUR. With the addition of Futbin and related assets, Better Collective’s esports portfolio reaches 100 million monthly visits, and Better Collective further diversifies its income stream as Futbin revenues are mainly ads and subscription sales. In connection with the acquisition, Better Collective updates its financial targets for 2022.
The interest for esports continues to increase as more people interact with communities centred around their favourite esports titles. The acquisition of Futbin and associated domains is an important milestone in Better Collective’s ambition of becoming the leading digital sports media group, adding to the already strong position within esports built on hltv.org, the leading community for CS:GO.
With 50 million monthly visits on its website and 3 million daily active users (DAU) on its proprietary app, Futbin is the world’s leading esports brand related to the FIFA esoccer game. Together with its associated domains, the platforms provide a major player base with important insights into the game of FIFA. The main business model of the platforms is ad sales and more recently, the launch of the Futbin app has driven significant revenue growth with subscription services, which is still in an early stage but with a very promising outlook. The asset acquisition entails a significant revenue diversification for Better Collective as current revenue is not derived from activities related to sports betting, but through ads sales to retail and consumer brands as well as subscription.
During the last 12 months, the platforms generated 13 mEUR in revenues growing with a CAGR of 55% from 2019 to 2021. Better Collective will consolidate the acquired assets into the Better Collective Group accounts as from April 19, 2022. The team behind Futbin will continue to provide assistance to the business to ensure continued strong development of the platform, which will also be subject to investments going forward.
Better Collective expects to create significant synergies across the esports portfolio by developing products and services from a joint infrastructure, making it possible to effectively scale the esports brands to reach a larger audience. Reaching a combined 100 million monthly visits from Futbin, HLTV and other esports assets, Better Collective now holds a leading position in the esports market. Granting a unique access to the esports audience, this is a key segment for retail and consumer brands in their global positioning. The increased scale allows for optimised revenue streams through improved partnerships.
The purchase price is agreed at up to 105 mEUR. Out of the total purchase price, 70 mEUR will be paid upfront in cash and shares of Better Collective A/S will be paid at a market value of 5 mEUR . The shares are expected to be transferred from Better Collective’s holding of its own shares. The remaining up to 30 mEUR is structured as a number of separate earn out payments to be paid over the coming two years subject to certain financial performance criteria. Furthermore, the acquisition of assets provides Better Collective with rights to tax-depreciation. Better Collective recently expanded its credit lines with Nordea Bank with an additional 100 mEUR to finance further acquisitions, including the Futbin and associated assets.
Financial targets for 2022
In connection with the acquisition, Better Collective updates its financial targets for the full year 2022 for operational earnings (EBITDA) to approximately 85 mEUR (previous approximately 80 mEUR). The updated financial targets, reflects addition of approximately 8 months of operational income from the acquired assets after inclusion of expected added costs to further develop the business. Other financial targets relating to organic growth and debt leverage remain unchanged at 15-25% for 2022 and <3.0x respectively.
Jesper Søgaard, CEO and co-founder of Better Collective, says:
“Esports is maturing and attracting more and more people globally – also professional athletes. Acquiring Futbin and related assets is a clear testament to Better Collective’s ambition of creating a platform that reaches esports audiences across the world. And even though more than 100 million people visit our esports platforms every month, we will continue to look for additional growth. We are very impressed with the high growth profile and the technology behind Futbin and the other assets in the portfolio. We expect to see significant positive synergistic effects with Better Collective’s business going forward”.
Esports: A fast-growing industry
The esports market has boomed in recent years. GlobeNewswire forecasts the esports market to continue growing with a 22% CAGR between 2022 to 2030, with ads and sponsorships representing the largest share of revenue.