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Paris, 14 September 2009
Crédit Agricole Private Equity is acting as lead manager in Turtle Entertainment GmbH's second round of financing alongside Corporate Finance Partners CFP & Founders Investments and long-standing shareholder EKK Unternehmensbeteiligungen.
The aim of this round of financing is to drive ahead the company's international roll-out and enhance its technological platform.
Based in Cologne, Germany, and founded in 2000, Turtle Entertainment is European market leader in electronic sports (eSports) and founder of the Electronic Sports League (ESL). ESL operates all over the world via 12 licensed partners in 35 countries.
The company has the largest electronic sports league in Europe, with nearly 2 million members and over 490,000 teams. Turtle Entertainment connects PC and console gamers through competitions, online leagues in a number of countries and by organising live tournaments.
By creating an online community linked to attractive offline events, Turtle Entertainment offers both sponsors and advertisers an unparalleled integrated platform enabling them to reach the strategic youth market. Its clients include leading international brands such as Intel, Adidas, Volkswagen and Dell.
Turtle Entertainment's aim is to run the largest online gaming community in Europe and China. Its revenues are generated primarily from sponsorship, advertising, premium subscriptions and sales of games.
Christian Claussen, Senior Partner within Crédit Agricole Private Equity's Venture Capital Team in charge of business development in Germany and Northern Europe, comments: "Turtle Entertainment is the top organiser of electronics sports competitions in Europe, with an excellent reputation and strong prospects for growth. The company has successfully benefited from the trend for this leisure activity. Turtle has designed a platform to organise online competitions in a very wide variety of games categories, providing a perfect virtual reproduction of live sports, with an effective sponsorship strategy. Its position in electronic sports is similar to that of FIFA in football.
We are delighted to be working with such an innovative and fast-growing company as an active investor providing the capital needed to support its expansion."
Jens Hilgers, CEO of Turtle Entertainment, states: "Since it was founded, Turtle Entertainment has launched a number of initiatives to encourage the promotion of this form of entertainment in accordance with Germany's relatively strict legislation concerning protection of young people. A recent study by Hamburg Media School showed that electronic sports communities have a beneficial effect on gamers, allowing them in particular to build up a network of lasting social contacts. Crédit Agricole Private Equity's involvement as a new investor will enable us to promote this community-based culture and develop our operations, particularly outside Europe."
This investment reflects Crédit Agricole Private Equity's desire to strengthen its position in the German venture capital market, with the aim of investing €8-12 million a year in innovative German companies.