Better Collective is making a quick move-in esports, acquiring the Futbin platform that focuses on video gaming and esports assets linked to the FIFA titles, a real-world soccer emulator, and arguably the most successful title in the genre. The sum of the deal is set at €105 million ($113 million).
Better Collective Secures More Esports Assets
Futbin is not messing around either. The company has over 50 million monthly users on its website and it is channeling them through both the web facilities and the dedicated app. According to Better Collective, this easily turns Futbin into the leading esports brand for all things FIFA.
FIFA is an ambitious project by EA which is attempting to rival traditional esports and enjoys a massive following, much of which is attributed to the real-world popularity of soccer itself. Futbin offers a comprehensive overview of anything you need to know about FIFA, including packs, news, and various useful tools such as squad builders.
Better Collective has agreed to pay €70 million ($76 million) in cash and €5 million ($5.5 million) worth of shares in the first tranche of the transaction. Another €30 million ($32.30 million) will follow based on earnout payments which will be completed in the next two years.
Esports is making a huge impression on Better Collective and others. The company co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard noted that the vertical was maturing rapidly and that the company already had 100 million unique visitors across Better Collective’s portfolio of esports brands. This is about to increase with the addition of Futbin. Søgaard noted:
We expect to see significant positive synergistic effects with Better Collective’s business going forward.
Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard
In terms of financial performance, Futbin has done well. The company reported €13 million in revenue and saw rapid growth. The website has been able to sell ad spots but also channel a subscription model. Better Collective acknowledged that this business model is different than what the company has been used to doing up until now and would provide it with some cushion against shocks in the sector.
Gambling Giants Find a Way into Esports
While affiliate operations have often been the most intuitive way to think of esports, and attempting to compel esports fans to place a wager, alternatives have become available to Better Collective included. For one, the company acquired HLTV.org, arguably the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community which has 100 million visits every month.
Better Collective agreed to pay €34.5 million ($37.23 million) at the time, making it one of the biggest acquisitions of an esports asset by a gambling company. In a somewhat similar development in 2021, Entain acquired Unikrn for £50 million ($65 million).