China’s LeSports raises $1.2b in Series B round, firm now valued at $3.3b

China-based eco-sports system company LeSports has raised $1.2 billion in its Series B round, which effectively pushes its valuation up to $3.3 billion.

The round saw participation from HNA Group, a local airline operator, Chinese actors and actresses Sun Honglei, Jia Nailiang and Liu Tao, and more than 20 new investors. Going forward, HNA Group will own a 5.85 per cent stake in LeSports.

LeSports had initially set out to raise $462 million in its Series B round but ended up raising more instead, according to a report.

The company had previously raised $122.9 million in its first funding round. The funds were from Dalian Wanda Group, Yunfeng Capital, and other unnamed parties, according to a filing.

Its business model revolves around broadcasting sporting events globally. Having signed partnerships with big sporting events and relevant players in the industry, LeSports is able to broadcast over 300 sporting events in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, depending on where the licenses apply.

These sporting events include exclusive media rights for the Chinese Super League (CSL) for the next two years, a three-year in-depth strategic partnership with Major League Baseball in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, exclusive live broadcasting rights for the English Premier League in Hong Kong from 2016 to 2019 and other major titles.

Lei Zhenjian, CEO, LeSports, said, in a statement, the company will work toward “enhancing the LeSports content platform, expanding [its] user base and acquiring more resources from the industry”.

Additionally, LeSports will be coming up with “premium smart devices” and expand its service offerings. One such device that it has already come up with is the Super Bike, launched last August.

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Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.