Sports betting media group Better Collective has acquired esports brand Futbin and its related domains for €105 million ($113.4 million), the company announced on Tuesday. The business has now also updated its financial guidance following the acquisition.
The purchase allows Better Collective to expand its offerings within esports, given Futbin’s status as a leading esports media brand within esoccer (FIFA). With the addition of Futbin and related assets, Better Collective’s esports portfolio now reaches 100 million monthly visits.
Additionally, the move further diversifies Better Collective’s income stream - this is due to Futbin revenues mainly coming from ads and subscription sales. It also comes as interest in esports continues to increase, as more people interact with communities centered around their favorite esports titles, the company says.
“The acquisition of Futbin and associated domains is an important milestone in Better Collective’s ambition of becoming the leading digital sports media group, adding to the already strong position within esports built on hltv.org, the leading community for CS:GO,” a press statement reads.
Better Collective describes Futbin as “the world’s leading esports brand related to the FIFA esoccer game.” The company has 50 million monthly visits on its website, and 3 million daily actives (DAU) on its proprietary app. Together with its associated domains, the platforms provide a major player base with important insights into the game of FIFA.
While the main business model of the platforms is ad sales, more recently the launch of the Futbin app has also driven significant revenue growth with subscription services. While Better Collective describes this feature as “still in an early stage,” it claims it has a very promising outlook.
“The asset acquisition entails a significant revenue diversification for Better Collective as current revenue is not derived from activities related to sports betting, but through ads sales to retail and consumer brands as well as subscription,” said the business.
During the last 12 months, the platforms generated €13 million in revenues, growing with a CAGR of 55% from 2019 to 2021. Better Collective is set to consolidate the acquired assets into its group accounts from April 19, 2022.
Additionally, the company announced that the team behind Futbin will continue to provide assistance to the business “to ensure continued strong development of the platform,” which will also be subject to investments going forward.
“Better Collective expects to create significant synergies across the esports portfolio by developing products and services from a joint infrastructure, making it possible to effectively scale the esports brands to reach a larger audience,” a statement reads.
Through a combined 100 million monthly visits from Futbin, HLTV and other esports assets, Better Collective says it now holds “a leading position” in the esports market. “Granting a unique access to the esports audience, this is a key segment for retail and consumer brands in their global positioning,” the business said.
“Esports is maturing and attracting more and more people globally - also professional athletes,” said Jesper Søgaard, CEO and co-founder of Better Collective. “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.”
Jesper Søgaard, CEO and co-founder of Better Collective
The purchase price was agreed at up to €105 million, and out of the total purchase price, €70 million will be paid upfront in cash, and shares of Better Collective A/S will be paid at a market value of €5 million. The shares are expected to be transferred from Better Collective’s holding of its own shares, the company said.
The remaining up to €30 million is structured as a number of separate earn-out payments to be paid over the coming two years, subject to certain financial performance criteria. Furthermore, the acquisition of assets provides Better Collective with rights to tax depreciation.
In connection with the acquisition, Better Collective has updated its financial targets for the full year 2022 for operational earnings (EBITDA) to approximately €85 million, from the previous approximately €80 million.
“The updated financial targets reflect the addition of approximately 8 months of operational income from the acquired assets after inclusion of expected added costs to further develop the business,” said Better Collective. “Other financial targets relating to organic growth and debt leverage remain unchanged at 15-25% for 2022 and <3.0x respectively.”