Brazilian Organization paiN Gaming Open to Investments, Western Digital Sponsorship Continues – The Esports Observer

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One of Brazil’s main esports organizations, paiN Gaming is open to talking with interested investors for 2021, company CEO Thomas Hamence told The Esports Observer. The announcement comes a few days after the organization signed two new sponsors, Ame Digital and Motorola, and renewed its sponsorship with hard drive manufacturer Western Digital.

paiN has recently been confirmed as an organization securing a franchise spot in Brazilian League of Legends Championship (CBLoL), one of the main esports competitions in the country, which costs $4M BRL (roughly $750K USD) for the spot. When asked where funds would come from to pay the fee, Hamence disclosed plans for an investment round: “We will pay the franchise fee with our own resources, as a CAPEX [capital expenditure] in our operation without relying on any third-party to acquire the spot. This doesn’t mean we are not open to investments. We have been looking and talking with some VCs [Venture Capitals] and investors because our ambitions are big. For us to be always ahead and leading, we have to be well-capitalized. So, yes, we are open for a first [investments] round.”

Hamence revealed that some conversations already are underway. He assures that the round, although, has no connection to the franchise, being just a “part of the equation.” He also says that some offers were already turned down due to profile incompatibilities: “We are looking for opportunities. Of course, there are many points to consider and pieces to fit correctly, including the valuation, the investor profile, etc. Everything needs to make sense for us.”   

paiN was already evaluated by at least two different financial groups which reached similar results. The details were not disclosed, but Hamence said the investment would be on a Series A level: “With the difference that we are already a profitable company. We would need to understand all the mechanics of the investment because we want to get this money and put it into work, not looking for more surplus. So there are many points to consider. We have a whole roadmap of what we want to make with the money, so it needs to fit perfectly with it, otherwise it wouldn’t make sense.”

Regarding the plans for the money raised through the round, Hamence says it would be applied to the competitive strategy, not necessarily for entering new esports but rather reinforcing paiN’s many teams. He mentions Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as an example: “The figures in the CS:GO scenario today are really high, so to make noise on it we would need more capital. Obviously, we would also reinforce the back office, our infrastructure, etc.” When asked if a new training center is underway, as other Brazilian organizations such as FURIA and INTZ announced recently, Hamence said that there will be news soon, but it is also not tied to  investment efforts. paiN currently fields lineups in League of Legends, CS:GO, Valorant, Clash Royale, and Free Fire.

“Actually, we are preparing the field to receive the investments the best way possible,” Hamence said. “As we have a healthy operation today, with surplus and increasing revenue with everything being reinvested in the organization, we are willing to gain critical mass to get our valuation as high as possible and use the investment as a strong momentum to enter another level.”

Although he estimates that 5% – 10% of the entity will be shared with investors, Hamence did not reveal the exact percentage of the company equity to be sold. He says it will depend on many factors, including  the intentions of the investor, so paiN is open to negotiating. It will be the first investment round by paiN, which launched in  2010 and is held until today as a bootstrapped company. Its founder and currently only owner is Arthur “PAADA” Zarzur, a former Dota 2 player.

Western Digital Renews Sponsorship 

The sponsorship from Western Digital has been consistent since 2015 when it promoted its brand SanDisk with the Brazilian team. In 2018, the brand display was changed for its gamer HD line WD_BLACK, which will continue on paiN’s jerseys after the renewal for another year. The newly-created Valorant team will also be included in the sponsorship, which is held with the objective of promoting the sponsor’s portfolio of HDDs and SSDs for the Brazilian gamer community.

Other sponsors are Coca-Cola, TIM Live, BMW, Motorola, Ame Digital, Tinder, apparel brand Piticas, and bank BS2


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