A Melbourne Esports Team Is Letting Fans Buy Equity

In a first for Australian esports and an intriguing venture for gaming overall, the Melbourne-based esports team ORDER has announced that fans will be able to buy a stake in the club through an equity crowdfunding campaign.

Equity crowdfunding licenses are still fairly new in Australia: Australian law was only changed in late September to accommodate crowdsourced funding, and the corporate regulator only began issuing licenses from January this year.

Opening a team up for investment, mind you, isn't exactly new. More and more teams are being bought by corporate interests, such as venture capital firms or, more recently, sports teams. The difference with ORDER's campaign is that it's targeted at fans, who can register an expression of interest to invest through the Birchal platform.

A snap of the pitch from ORDER's equity crowdfunding campaign

A large part of the pitch relies on using the crowdfunding to invest in ORDER's team house, expanding it into a headquarters that would contain "themed gaming lounges", a bespoke studio for tournaments and events, and office space that would "be open to all of the gaming community". There's also a pitch about blending gaming culture alongside music, art and fashion, although neither the media release or the official campaign page goes into detail about how that would be achieved.

Fans will supposedly be "prioritised over other potential investors when an offer is made", although the language of the site and release notes that general investors will be able to join the campaign.

It'll be interesting to see how the campaign goes, and what ORDER's distribution of equity looks like down the line. The campaign reminds me of Enfield Town, the first fully fan-owned football club in the UK, and AFC Wimbledon which is majority owned by a supporters' trust.

Whatever happens, it'll be fun to see what happens to ORDER. The campaign on Birchal runs for another 24 days. Those interested should also read the general risk warning, too.


Comments

    Esports teams are really unprofitable in general. I understand why the team would want to fob off those losses onto someone else, but why aside from not knowing better would a fan want a slice of a lossmaker?

      I guess if they get their House of ORDER in order - see what I did there - you could rock up and play games. Or something. Maybe a t-shirt? Their web page is light on for details of what your money actually gets you. They sure do look to have a lot of people though. :/

    this isn't too far off selling membership for football clubs. only without any of the upsides.

    I'm pretty cinical, so I imagine we would end up standing next to the team members asking where our money is when it all falls apart.

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