VSPN, Versus Programming Network, a Chinese eSports startup company, announces that it has raised $100m in its series B funding round. The funding round was led by Tencent Holdings, followed by other investors Tiantu Capital, SIG (Susquehanna International Group), and Kuaishou, with Lighthouse Capital acting as a financial advisor for VSPN. This is one more evidence that the esports and gaming industry is booming even during the pandemic.
After being founded in 2016, the company became one of the first pioneers of eSports tournament organization. VSPN provides gamers with a platform to host and joining esports gaming tournaments and allows content creators to build an audience. It has now expanded towards other businesses, including offline venue operation and esports commercialization.
The CEO of VSPN, Ding Ying, stated that “We are delighted to announce this latest round of funding. Thanks to policies supporting Shanghai as the global center for esports, and with Beijing, Chengdu, and Xi’an expressing confidence in the development of esports, VSPN has grown rapidly in recent years. After this funding round, we look forward to building an esports research institute, an esports culture park, and further expanding globally. VSPN has a long-term vision and is dedicated to the sustainable development of the global esports ecosystem.”
The company also added that it would shift focus to build an eSports short-form video ecosystem, improve its potential for eSports content creation, and reach more gamers through different channels.
Tencent’s efforts to promote Esports
General Manager of Tencent Esports, Mars Hou, mentioned, ”VSPN’s long-term company vision and leading position in esports production are vital for Tencent to optimize the layout of the esports industry’s development.”
It was hinted that Tencent might invest in VSPN back in March when the COO, Mark Ren, of Tencent said publicly that Tencent would provide more high-quality esports competitions in conjunction with tournament organizers like VSPN.
Tencent has been working for the growth of esports despite already being the biggest publisher in the world. In August, Tencent proposed and consolidated a merger between Douyu and Huya, the two competing sites in video game live streaming.
Tencent also announced a $500 million entity for its gaming business, Penguin Esports.
Featured image: VSPN