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Sedania’s eSports arm ESPL races to unicorn status

by ANIS HAZIM / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD

SEDANIA Innovator Bhd is working on a lofty goal to build its eSports associate company to become Malaysia’s first unicorn in three years. 

Sedania founder and MD Datuk Azrin Mohd Noor said Sedania will take a “step by step” approach to build Esports Players League (ESPL), the group’s eSports arm, towards the US$1 billion (RM4.16 billion) valuation. 

The group is expected to hit key performance indicators by year-end and start raising funds through Series A round by early next year. 

“This would put ESPL up closer to the unicorn status target, and conservatively we hope to achieve it in three years,” Azrin told The Malaysian Reserve. 

He said the global eSports tournament and platform provider has a list of strategically profiled shareholders, including Silicon Valley 500 Startups, Warner Music Asia, Genting Ventures, RightBridge Ventures AB that would boost ESPL capability to scale in 16 countries at the moment, following its pre-Series A round. 

Sedania, via ESPL, has surpassed its target in the pre-Series A fund-raising round with over RM32 million post-money valuation. 

Founded in 2019, Singapore-based ESPL aims to turn eSports into a daily entertainment experience. 

Azrin noted the group has exciting new developments in the pipeline for its eSports venture in India 

He said Sedania recently launched a music video in India through its partnership with Warner Bros India which has quickly garnered an encouraging number of views. 

“It has received more than four million views in just a week. There is more exciting stuff for ESPL in India soon,” he said. 

He said the group’s eSports segment in India is growing following the partnership between ESPL and India’s most popular mobile wallet provider, Paytm First Games. 

Industry experts estimated nearly 656 million people will participate or watch eSports online by 2023, and Sedania CEO Daniel Ruppert said the Covid-19 pandemic has given the company the opportunity to shine. 

As it is, Azrin said the group’s outlook for the year is very positive despite pandemic-induced movement restrictions and set to continue the momentum from the strong performance in its first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (1Q21). 

Sedania share price has risen by some 60% in the past three days to 80.5 sen at close yesterday in active trade. The stock hit a high of 88.5 sen and a low of 73 sen in intraday trade. 

Sedania’s revenue soared more than six-fold to RM17.07 million in 1Q21 compared to RM2.78 million in 1Q20, mainly attributed to the green technology segment and the newly acquired healthtech subsidiary during the quarter. 

It was the highest revenue since its IPO in 2015. 

The ACE Market-listed company registered a profit after tax of RM4.89 million, compared to a loss after tax of RM1.82 million in 1Q20. The company remains confident in its business outlook. 

“The pandemic has reshaped consumer behaviour worldwide. Based on the reports published recently, there are a total of 40 million new users in 2020, making it to a total of 400 million new Internet users in South-East Asia,” Sedania CEO Daniel Ruppert noted in a statement recently. 

He said the group’s healthtech segment under Offspring Inc is recording a sharp rise in online sales compared to the pre-pandemic period. 

He said its June online sales recorded an increase of almost 65% to average online sales recorded in the same period last year. 

“E-commerce was growing fast before the pandemic, however, the global health crisis has pushed more consumers online and this has led to acceleration to digital consumption,” Ruppert said. 

The healthtech segment contributed 32% of the group’s total revenue. 

Ruppert said the group is at a strategic intersection as it remains cautiously optimistic amid the unprecedented pandemic. 

He added that the group’s fintech segment has been receiving many requests from prospect clients to relook into their end-to-end operation towards digital transformation. 

Dzul

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