Cloud9 walking into that new funding
Through Forbes, Cloud9 have announced that they have raised $50 million in a Series B funding round led by Valor Equity Partners, whose founder and managing partner, Antonio Gracias, will join the board of the North American esports organization.
The investment is intended to allow the organization to expand into the next year, expanding from the current 35 employees in order to "build out a team to make it more robust and to increase the team’s retail footprint." They have also begun plans to build a 20,000-to-30,000 square foot training facility Los Angeles, similar to the likes TSM and Liquid currently operate from, and compLexity are currently building in Dallas.
Cloud9 intend to allow this new facility to operate like a youth academy, with their president Dan Fiden stating "Your 14-year-old daughter loves Overwatch and wants nothing more than to get coached and participate in a league, this could be the place that you take her for practice on Wednesday afternoon every week" and that it could be "the esports analogue to a Little League diamond."
The investment comes just a year after Cloud9 closed a $25 million Series A funding round. Forbes have also placed the organization on their annual list of the next "unicorns", the term used for start-ups that reach a $1 billion value, with them being the only esports company on the list.
Cloud9 would hope this would be catalyst for improvement in their CS:GO fortunes, having gone from a high of winning the ELEAGUE Boston Major in January to the current roster uncertainty and unimpressive finishes like the 12th-14th place finish at the FACEIT London Major.