Better Collective acquires esports content site Futbin for €105m

Better Collective has acquired Futbin, a series of esports brands focused on the FIFA series of football games, for €105m.

Futbin boasts 50 million monthly viewers on its website, plus a further three million daily active users on its app, which better Collective said made it “the world’s leading esports brand” dedicated to the FIFA games.

Better Collective will pay €70m in cash and €5m worth of existing shares up front, plus €30m in earnout payments to be made over the next two years, for a total fee of €105m. The business noted that it recently expanded its credit lines with Nordea Bank by €100m to help finance this and other deals.

Jesper Søgaard, CEO and co-founder of Better Collective, said the business may continue to pursue other esports-related acquisitions.

“Esports is maturing and attracting more and more people globally – also professional athletes,” he said. “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.”

During the last 12 months, Futbin made €13m in revenue, representing a growth rate of 55% per year from 2019. As most of this revenue came from ad sales and subscriptions, Better Collective said the move “entails a significant revenue diversification for Better Collective as current revenue is not derived from activities related to sports betting”.

The affiliate business said the move helped it expand in the world of esports, with its esports-related assets now attracting more than 100 million views per month. In March 2020, the business acquired HLTV.org – which specialises in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – in a deal worth up to €34.5m.

“Granting a unique access to the esports audience, this is a key segment for retail and consumer brands in their global positioning,” Better Collective said. “The increased scale allows for optimised revenue streams through improved partnerships.”

As a result of the deal, Better Collective has raised its financial targets for 2022. The business now projects its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to reach €85m, up from the previously projected €80m.

Author: Raymond Fleming