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Fortnite maker Epic Games raises US$1.78bn in funding round

Tencent-backed video game giant valued at US$17.3bn after latest investment.

7 August 2020 Sam Carp

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  • Funding round included Sony’s US$250m strategic investment
  • Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper among new investors

Fortnite publisher Epic Games has closed a US$1.78 billion funding round, giving the video game giant a post-money equity valuation of US$17.3 billion.

The round included a previously disclosed US$250 million strategic investment from Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation, which now holds a reported 1.4 per cent share in Epic.

Additional investment also came from Baillie Gifford, funds and accounts managed by Blackrock, Lightspeed Venture Partners and David Tepper, the owner of the National Football League’s (NFL) Carolina Panthers.

Existing investors KKR and Smash Ventures also participated in the round, adding to their investment in 2018, when Epic received a total US$1.25 billion in funding from seven firms.

Epic, which has more than 40 offices worldwide, said in a statement that the North Carolina-headquartered company will continue to only have a single class of common stock outstanding and remains controlled by Tim Sweeney, its founder and chief executive.

Investment banking company Credit Suisse and merchant bank The Raine Group acted as joint placement agents to Epic for the funding round, with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati providing legal counsel.

Sweeney said: “Having the support of leaders in the financial community accelerates Epic’s efforts to build a new kind of digital ecosystem using real-time 3D technology, services that connect hundreds of millions of people, and a digital storefront that offers a fair business model. We are delighted to have them as part of the Epic family.”

Epic’s success to date saw the company able to offer one of the biggest prize pools in esports last year when it put US$30 million up for grabs at the Fortnite World Cup.

Epic is part-owned by Chinese technology company Tencent, which reportedly saw its shares in Hong Kong plummet as much as ten per cent on 7th August after US president Donald Trump issued executive orders to ban TikTok and WeChat, the latter of which is owned by Tencent.

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