What it does
AIM-quoted Gfinity (LON:GFIN) is a world leader in the fast-growing market for esports.
The company provides full end-to-end esports solutions, including bespoke content, tournament and event solutions for commercial partners via its proprietary online platform and live broadcasting studio, plus it is building its owned Elite Series brand and hosting its proprietary Elite Series tournament format.
Revenues are derived from managed services fees for third-party events, and advertising and sponsorship.
Several big names have hired Gfinity to be its event partner and to look after the logistics of running a successful tournament, including none other than Microsoft.
The tech giant has partnered with Gfinity on numerous occasions, including for its Halo and Forza Racing championships.
Formula 1 has also used the company’s services to run its competition to find the best virtual racer in the world, as has the Premier League, which launched its ePremier League last year and in February 2020 appointed Gfinity to operate a US version of the tournament in partnership with the NBC Sports network.
Major game developers have also partnered with the company for various events, including a charity livestream in late-October which Gfinity hosted alongside Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:ATVI).
How it is doing
Gfinity’s main presence is in the UK – the Gfinity Arena is in London – but it has been moving into other territories of late, such as the UAE, where it signed a five-year deal with Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, as well as the Middle East and North Africa teaming up with YaLLa Esports.
The pandemic shone more light on the sector, with Gfinity expanding its existing deal with Formula 1 motorsports Grand Prix group and inking a new one with BT Sport.
It was selected to host the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix and the ePremier League, for fans who wanted to follow these sports after the official tournaments were cancelled.
It also launched a new digital media group within the company, Gfinity Digital Media, as well as new ecommerce and rewards programmes to diversify its revenue streams.
Gfinity Plus will also offer exclusive content, forums and gamification for its online community from August.
What the boss says: John Clarke, chief executive
"Every month millions of gamers engage with our content and the launch of Gfinity Plus will provide the opportunity for even greater engagement across our sites. Through the combination of Gfinity Plus, our new e-commerce initiative and newly launched video serving platform, it is clear we are just starting to scratch the surface of the commercial opportunity presented by our owned community, which is hugely exciting for us on our pathway to profitability."
"Gfinity Digital Media is one of our fastest growing revenue streams and is expected to generate revenue of £2mln this financial year. It will be pivotal in the company reaching its target of moving into profitability in the first quarter of 2021 calendar year."
Lockdown aside, analysts expect the industry to keep grabbing interest worlwide. At the moment it's worth US$150bn, with an annual growth of 12% since 2015.