Multigame esports organization Cloud9 has completed a seed financing round with backing from sports teams, athletes, and games industry insiders, including NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence and Golden State Warriors owner Chamath Palihapitiya.
"We've formed a fantastic group of investors to help push Cloud9 to the next level," said Jack Etienne, co-founder and CEO of Cloud9 in the news release. "With this investment you can expect Cloud9 to continue our expansion into the esports market while maintaining an exceptional experience for our players."
Daniel Fiden of Chinese-owned FunPlus Ventures led the charge. He formed a diverse group of investors including Montana, Pence and Palihapitiya, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Tesla directors Antonio Gracias and Kimbal Musk, Eldridge Industries founder and L.A. Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, and more.
According to the news release, Cloud9 will use this new round of funding to help build strategic partnerships and attract new sponsorships.
"Cloud9 is a fantastic organization that has shown throughout the years that it has what it takes to continuously contend for championships in multiple esports titles," said Montana, who also co-founded Liquid 2 Ventures. "The players of Cloud9 work hard to always compete at the highest level and the organization's leadership strives to provide a positive atmosphere that allows its players the opportunity to be in a position to do their best."
NBA center Andrew Bogut, Signia Venture Partners co-founder Rick Thompson, the Founders Fund co-founder Ken Howery and partner Brian Singerman, Bonfire Studios co-founders Min Kim and Rob Pardo, Jam City co-founder Josh Yguado, and investor Bill Lee also invested in Cloud9.
C9 is one of the most popular esports organizations from the United States. It has teams and players in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Call of Duty and Vainglory.