The interest in eSports has grown substantially in the past few years, with viewership surpassing that of traditional sports events like the world series and NBA finals. The League of Legends World Championship alone hit a total of 27 million viewers in 2014, and streaming service like Twitch.com boast an impressive 16 billion minutes of live gaming streams watched per month on average.

With those numbers it’s no surprise that interest is growing among investors eager to break into the eSports market. In one of the biggest moves for eSports in recent time, Unikrn has struck an investment deal of $7 million. Unikrn is a gaming and eSports company founded by Rahul Sood, former GM of Microsoft Ventures and founder of VoodooPC. With the sizable investment Unikrn plans to further develop its online eSports platform, Unikrn.com, which is described as a “safe, legal, and a fun arena for anyone to gather, game and bet on eSports.”

Unikrn Logo-webIn the past Unikrn has partnered with companies such as Razer, HP, Logitech and Tabcorp, and now we see that list of partnerships expanding to notable investors such as Shark Tank’s very own Mark Cuban as well as Jonathan Teo and Justin Capital, best known for their investment in companies like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and more.  Alongside them, other companies such as Freelands Group, 500 Startups, Indicator Ventures, and more have joined in the deal.

“Working with Jonathan and his team has been an experience to say the least. They have helped us pivot at the beginning, and they always refer to us as ‘we’ even before they pulled the trigger,” Said Rahul, “They’re an incredible partner with vast consumer branding and eSports experience, and with the help of our other amazing investors, our vision of bringing safe and legal wagering on eSports to consumers around the world is now well within our grasp.”

Rahul isn’t the only once excited for the partnership, with several of the investors expressing great confidence in Unikrn’s future, as well as that of eSports. According to Jonathan Teo, “Millions of people watch competitive gaming globally, we believe the industry has hit an inflection point and this is just the tip of the iceberg for where this new sport can go. We fully believe in the Unikrn executive team, what they are building, and their vision of how they want to heighten people’s engagement with eSports across all mediums.”

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The numbers speak for themselves, as Shark Tank celebrity investor Mark Cuban states, “The rapid growth of eSports has created an enitre new category of competition and I am proud to partner with Rahul Sood and his team to help bring eSports to an even greater audience. As a sports fantatic and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Macericks, I am excited to be involved with a new sport just as it’s poised for huge growth. ” Cuban also commented on his own experiences with investing both on and off the air, and emphasized his belief in what sets Rahul and Unikrn apart. “Hundreds of companies every year try to get me to invest, whether on Shark Tank or off camera. However, I only put my money and my name on the companies that I feel will be successful, truly advance an industry and have a leadership team that I respect. Unikrn fits all these requirements.” 

The investment will allow Unikrn to expand their current model, with a new version of their online platform releasing in the first few weeks of July.