France’s FDJ invests in esports startup PandaScore

FDJ created its investment fund last year to support startups in the industry.
FDJ created its investment fund last year to support startups in the industry.

The French gaming giant contributed to a funding round that raised €5m.

France.- Esports data supplier PandaScore has raised €5m in a funding round that was led by V13 Invest, a fund owned by France’s La Française des Jeux (FDJ).

Other participating investors included Alven, an existing investor, sports-tech investor KB Partners and esports owner and investor aXiomatic Gaming.

PandaScore said it will use the cash raised to expand its team in France and Malta, and to broaden its portfolio of products for bookmakers by adding more esports titles.

The Paris-headquartered supplier was founded by esports enthusiasts Flavien Guillocheau and Jonathan Retterer in 2015.

It provides real-time AI-powered odds and has recently agreed partnerships with sportsbook BetCris, esports betting platform Pixelbet and fantasy esports company Sleeper.

FDJ created its €30m fund, V13 Invest in July 2019, to invest in startups. It’s managed by Serena, an investment fund specialising in technology.

Serena principal, Olivier Martret, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted a significant lack of resilience among traditional bookmakers who really need to increase their agility. This is where PandaScore can help. 

“With FDJ, we are convinced that PandaScore’s tech is a key asset for bookmakers, enabling them to gain new market shares and more efficient and reliable services.”

PandaScore’s founder and chief executive, Flavien Guillocheau, said: “Providing game-changing data for bookmakers is our way to fuel the growth of esports. When bookmakers can offer great esports betting it also helps in raising sponsorships for teams and tournaments.”

FDJ has reported strong performance after France’s first Covid-19 lockdown, with wagers returning to 2019 levels by mid-June.

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