South Korean Gaming ‘Legend’ DRX Hooks US$10M Investment

DRX also receives assurance of a future investment to the tune of $12.5 million

Korean esports organization DRX, based in Seoul, South Korea, has raked in an investment of US$10 million, the group announced in a statement yesterday.

Aside from managing esports, DRX also runs a professional League of Legends (LoL) team, which has one of the largest LoL fanbases worldwide.

The investment comes with a slew of other announcements, including the company’s deal with businessman and former actor Bae Yong-joon, and future capital commitments of $12.5 million from ATU Partners.

The investment was made by a host of Southeast Asian investors, including luxury handbag manufacturer JS Corporation, Seoul Investment Partners, Quantum Venture Korea, Shinhan Capital, Wonik Investment Partners, and Devsisters Ventures, the statement said.

Moreover, DRX has also secured a commitment of $12.5 million from Gen Z-focused investors ATU Partners and its holding company Kibo Steel, to be invested later, according to the statement.

ATU Partners’ $17 million private equity fund ATU Esports Growth Fund is a majority stakeholder in DRX. Further, DRX Chairman Park Jung-moo is the CEO of ATU Partners, and Kibo Steel is his family-owned steel manufacturing and distribution business, the statement disclosed.

The statement went on to note that Korean celebrity Bae Yong-joon has also taken a stake in the company and will act as the company’s advisor.

Bae is known to have contributed significantly to the Korean Wave (the surge in popularity of South Korean pop culture and entertainment), for which he received the Korean Hwa-Gwan Order of Culture Merit in 2008.

The fresh capital will help DRX launch franchises for the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), making it one of the LCK teams with leading cashable assets, the statement continued.

Specifically, the investment will be used for infrastructure, player facilities, and content and marketing purposes, it added.

According to the statement, DRX’s “strong global fandom, the systematic big-data based player discovery system, and its potential for unrivaled growth” helped it land the deal, adding that its business model for the LCK franchise strengthened the case for the investment.

“[The investors] believed in DRX’s value and its growth potential and executed investment and payment in advance before the franchise is finalized. I hope this investment will help not only DRX but also the entire LCK to continue its significant growth,” DRX CEO Choi Sang-in said in the statement.

Earlier last month, DRX entered a collaborative deal with South Korean internet company Kakao, focused on creating a second Korean Wave, driven by Internet technology and the rising popularity of serious gaming, resulting in a possible inflection point for the gaming industry.

Header image courtesy of DRX

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