Edge Investments (Edge), a growth investor in the UK creative economy, has invested GBP1.7 million into BLAST, a global esports media network.
BLAST has contracted the best teams in the world, works with top broadcast talent in the space and utilises its leading production technology to offer world class media and entertainment experiences to an ever-expanding audience, be it across intimate broadcast shows, arena events, digital platforms, or top-class multi-platform content. The network is best known for the operation, production and broadcasting of BLAST Premier, a series of worldwide Counter-Strike tournaments, as well as launching tournaments in DOTA and Valorant over the course of 2020. It attracts top professional teams to compete, typically to a live audience in huge arenas, and broadcasted around the world in 105 territories to over 150 million households in 18 languages this year.
The Company has offices in Copenhagen, Denmark and London, United Kingdom. Edge’s investment follows an already impressive year of growth for the Company as it increased its output by introducing multiple new tournaments and content series. Blast has already delivered over 500 hours of world class esports to fans around the world in 2020, including their Fall Series event which saw the return of the transatlantic Counter-Strike competition and delivered record viewership numbers.
The esports market is growing rapidly, with total viewership expected to grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023, up from 454m to 646m respectively. The Company has been expanding its commercial partnerships to reach this expanding audience, announcing the latest with the BBC yesterday. The partnership brings BLAST’s final three Counter-Strike events of the 2020 season to the UK public-service broadcaster’s digital platforms.
Edge’s investment will support BLAST in bolstering its broader UK operations as it looks to further tap into the nation’s strong media talent pool, while accelerating its international expansion as it gains market share.
Niall Santamaria led the investment from Edge and has been appointed as a member of its Board.
David Glick, Founder and CEO of Edge Investments, says: “At Edge, we look to champion talented entrepreneurs harnessing creativity and technology to solve problems, improve lives and advance the world. BLAST’s ambitious management team shares Edge’s purpose and values. BLAST has focused on providing premium quality experiences through the very best technology. The growth of esports isn’t stopping any time soon, and BLAST is well placed to benefit – the talent, and crucially the fans, are looking for a leader to follow.”
Niall Santamaria, Investment Manager at Edge Investments, says: “We’re excited to partner with BLAST as it looks to become a true leader in global esports. In this sector, the fans are everything, and Robbie and his team have focused on ensuring they have the best teams, top broadcast talent and production technology, to deliver a truly world class content experience for their millions of fans; something clearly acknowledged by the BBC with yesterday’s announcement. The whole team at Edge is pleased to be supporting them as they build on their recent successes and move to the next stage of their growth.”
Robbie Douek, CEO of BLAST, adds: “To have Edge Investments’ backing is testament to the impressive work BLAST has achieved so far this year and highlights the upward trajectory the esports industry is on right now despite a turbulent year for everyone. We chose Edge for access to their specialist knowledge and network in content distribution, media promotion and production, and we are delighted to have them on board as we enter what looks to be a pivotal year for us.”