Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ampverse bolsters its leadership team to spearhead regional growth

Singapore — Singapore-based Esports company Ampverse is preparing for accelerated growth, expansion into Indonesia and the Philippines, and development of its new Web3 business unit with a series of new hires and promotions within its senior leadership team. The updates include Tine Hansen as head of commercial partnerships; Thomas Jouanno as head of marketing and D2C; meanwhile, Robert Gaxiola is appointed as head of creative; and Jenny Hall is named as head of strategic partnership.

Following a successful US$12m Series A fundraiser earlier this year, Ampverse plans to strengthen and scale several key business units, including commercial, web3, marketing and strategic partnerships.

Hansen is a senior commercial executive with over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry, focusing on IP and branded content. Hansen has worked across Europe, the US, Latin America, and APAC, holding director-level positions at the likes of Sony Pictures and NBC Universal.

Meanwhile, Jouanno is a digital and tech entrepreneur with over 12 years of experience in digital marketing, e-commerce, data analytics, and product monetization. He has built and successfully exited several companies and previously served as president and CMO for Atmosol.

On the other hand, Gaxiola is a globally recognized and multi-awarded creative leader who will spearhead Ampverse’s creative direction and product evolution into original content and Web3 including bespoke metaverse experiences. He joins from Something Else, the digital content and NFT studio for the publishers Vogue, Esquire and Robb Report having previously held roles including executive creative director at Ogilvy & Mather.

A seasoned veteran with over 15 years of experience in business development and brand partnerships, Hall has been promoted to lead the company’s new strategic partnership business unit. She will develop new commercial products and partnerships across the group’s portfolio of IP.

Charlie Baillie, chief strategy officer of Ampverse, said, “When you’re building an innovative company in such a dynamic sector as gaming and diverse region as Southeast Asia and India, a world-class team is vital to realise the scale of our ambition. The latest additions to the management team all have their unique strengths but also share common traits – they are entrepreneurial, passionate, self-driven, and not afraid to challenge the norm.”

Over the last year, Ampverse increased its headcount from 60 to more than 100 employees and saw revenue grow during the same time period. Its portfolio of leading esports IP includes Thai esports brands Bacon, MiTH, and many more. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Esports firm Ampverse secures US$12m in new funding, to expand to PH & ID

Singapore — Singapore-headquartered Esports company Ampverse has announced its US$12m Series A fundraise. The round was led by investment fund Falcon Capital and included follow-on investment from both Singaporean fund Vulpes and Gandel Invest, both of whom participated in prior Ampverse rounds.

The fresh funding will allow Ampverse to expand into the Indonesian and the Philippine markets, further esports team acquisitions and are earmarked to scale Ampverse’s play-to-earn business unit. This includes acquiring play-to-earn guilds as the esports company dynamically moves into the P2E space to complement its existing esports IP pillar.

New Series A investors join a list of distinguished strategic investors from the worlds of gaming, media, sports and esports. These include Rob Gilby, former Disney SEA MD, David NG, CEO GoGame, Michael Patent, CEO Culture Group, Marcus John, former VP Lagadere and Wolfpack Fund—founded by former IMG and Group M executives.

Wil Rondini, CEO of Falcon Capital, said, “Falcon is ecstatic to lead the Ampverse Series A round together with Vulpes and Gandel Invest and to join earlier leading investors from the esports, media and entertainment sectors. The growth that the Ampverse team have delivered in a short period is monumental. With their continued esports M&A strategy and play-to-earn vision, we know that the future is bright for Ampverse.”

Ferdinand Gutierrez, CEO of Ampverse, commented that Ampverse has witnessed tremendous growth over the last twelve months, with 125 per cent revenue growth and expansion into the Vietnamese and Indian markets, while also strengthening our esports assets portfolio.

“We will utilise these funds to move forward to solidify our position within Southeast Asia by continuing our expansion into Indonesia and the Philippines. We are also thrilled to continue scaling our esports and new play-to-earn business unit through further M&A,” Gutierrez said.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ampverse, Razer partner to elevate Thai esports team Bacon Time under Team Razer Banner

Thailand – Asia’s esports organisation Ampverse has partnered with gaming brand Razer, aimed at enabling its Thai Arena of Valor team, Bacon Time, to continue its growth under the Team Razer Banner – an assembly of world-class esports teams and athletes that empowers the best players in the world and giving them the edge in competition. 

As part of the partnership, Team Razer will be equipping Bacon Time’s pro players and brand ambassadors with the gaming products in order to boost their overall gaming and streaming experience. It will also allow Team Razer to access Bacon Time’s pool of pro players, brand ambassadors, and content creators, and an always-on branding presence throughout the team’s official social channels. 

Moreover, the two organisations will work on the co-creation and co-branding of Bacon Time-branded Razer products including the launch of gaming chairs, mousepads, earbuds, mobile cases, and keyboards, amongst others. 

Ferdinand Gutierrez, Ampverse’s CEO, commented that they are thrilled to partner with Team Razer, a global brand not only known for its distinct product quality, but also one which resonates with the gaming and esports community.

“What I’m most excited about is being able to use our creativity and co-create products that will elevate and bring the best out of both brands, connecting real-life consumers with highly relevant products to suit their lifestyle,” said Gutierrez.

Meanwhile, Flo Gutierrez, Razer’s director of global esports, shared that Bacon Time has impressed them with not just their skills in-game, but also their rapport with their fans and the overall gaming community. 

“With an increased focus placed on Razer’s mobile esports in the region, this partnership with Bacon Time comes at an opportune time as we deepen our connection with our Thai community,” he said.

Platforms Featured APAC

The next phase of hypergrowth in esports

The gaming industry is going from strength to strength with continuous growth on a global scale. With investments of over $60 billion in the first half of 2021, it has already almost doubled the total amount in 2020. With innovation taking center stage, many will be looking towards further opportunities in commerce to secure future growth as the industry once again prepares to level up. 

Over the last 18 months, events quickly transformed how the global community communicated with friends, shopped, and interacted online. People of all ages were responsible for a spike in digital gaming activity in a world where we all became players. But global audiences are not just playing games; they are increasingly consuming more gaming-related content via live and recorded streams of games across multiple platforms.

As the world begins to open back up, interest in gaming and esports continues to dominate headlines. The arrival of 5G is creating more opportunities for esports companies to scale as mobile-first nations such as China and Southeast Asia continue to thrive with millions of new fans entering virtual arenas. But how can esports companies scale quickly enough to meet the demands of their audience? 

Have the right people

Gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries and market environments. But it’s people who drive the heart of every business in this space. The most successful esports companies attract the best talent and investors to help realize their vision. But, identifying and developing this talent and creating a working culture that empowers every individual to be the best version of themselves is the easy part. Then, just like in video games, it’s keeping the momentum going and grinding through tasks where many fail.

Every esports player knows that if you don’t selflessly help others, look out for your teammates, or work together, you won’t get very far. Video games have taught us that although you might move forward faster alone, you can achieve much more in a group. There is no room for egos in business either, and the right people by your side combined with a growth mindset will result in many successful joint missions where objectives and goals are achieved.

In our virtual, physical, and digital lives, everybody is faced with grinding through cumbersome work that at the time feels unrewarding. But you need to dig deep and pull together to unlock hypergrowth. There is a strong argument that convincing brave, driven, and entrepreneurial-minded people to join your winning tribe requires leadership, communication, teamwork, and negotiation skills learned through playing video games. Once again, it’s people and teams that learn from each other that create the magic, whether online or offline.

Pivoting until you find your path 

No start-up journey is clear-cut from the start, and nobody could have predicted that Zoom would be worth more than the world’s seven biggest airlines or that videogames would generate more revenue than movies and music combined. Elsewhere, many traditional companies are attempting to pivot to esports, which can be both a blessing and a curse. 

For example, large traditional sporting events realized that their global fanbase of millions could never fit inside a sporting arena. So how do they keep their fans engaged? NASCAR was one of the first to pivot to esports, with its iRacing series attracting one million viewers per event. As the lines between traditional sport and esports begin to get blurry, it can create tremendous opportunities and challenges in equal measure for the industry. 

It’s important to remember that YouTube would have become a video dating website without the pivot, and Instagram would have become a location-based game. In the same way that multiple lives in video games give you another chance to try a different approach, opportunities will always come your way on your mission to locate hypergrowth in your esports company

The universe will provide us with many opportunities to change and try something new. So, don’t waste these chances and always take advantage of the opportunities on the continuously evolving path that lies ahead. Most important of all, remember that the game is never over.

Explore the map

Don’t be afraid to go on side-missions if an exciting opportunity lands in front of you as long as you stay on track. By contrast, if you remain in the same place, you will quickly run low on resources or discover new ways to broaden your horizons.

By exploring one’s map, one can navigate unchartered digital waters to help design a plan. Blueprints involve finding esports teams with a strong community and solid foundation in each of the markets it operates in. With this foundation in place, they can be accelerated to become household names and compete among the region’s top teams. Additionally, partnering with brand ambassadors and content creators can take them to the next level with strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and content distribution across multiple channels. 

The gaming industry has come a long way since its days of being on the fringes of popular culture. However, both gaming and esports are right at the heart of mainstream entertainment. By bridging the gap between the gaming world and the brands challenged with creating awe-inspiring content, it is hoped that we can take engaging experiences for esports and gaming fans to the next level. 

One of the most significant growth opportunities in the industry is driving commerce by delivering physical and digital products. Having a clear game plan to navigate these challenging times has resulted in the hypergrowth of many industries, and gaming is no exception. But at the heart of everything is people. From every employee to every member of a gaming audience, it’s about how we all use technology to create powerful and authentic ways to connect with people. 

This article is written by Tim Roemer, COO of Ampverse.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Ampverse expands Asia presence, unveils new hires

Singapore – Ampverse, an esports entertainment company, has announced new hires for its company in response to their expansion to Vietnam and Myanmar this year.

Top hires include director of revenue and customer success Jackie Tangngumvitayakul formerly of media company Starcom, head of client solutions Kate Siriwattanakul formerly of media investment company GroupM.

Other additions to the Ampverse team include strategic initiatives manager Athiti Sujarit formerly of esports event organizer Garena, and new team members across its sales, finance, human resources, creative solutions, and esports divisions. 

“We are really pleased to welcome this bunch of talented and bright individuals to Ampverse. As we prepare ourselves for the next phase of growth, I’m incredibly proud that Ampverse continues to attract talent of such high caliber. Reflected by their diverse interests, personalities, and knowledge, our new talent will support us in bringing forth wider creative solutions for our clients,” said Ferdinand Gutierrez, CEO of Ampverse.

He added, “Vietnam and Myanmar are among Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies, with both markets displaying a huge growth potential for gaming, boasting many promising players and a robust gaming community. As we settle into 2021, our goal is to extend our resources, talent, and experiences in places where we know there is a clear demand.”

Ampverse is currently operating with three esports teams and has worked with brands such as Samsung, KFC, Porsche, Electronic Arts, Lazada and Grab.

Platforms Southeast Asia

Ampverse appoints Tim Roemer as Director of Operations to support its growth in SEA

Singapore — Esports entertainment company Ampverse today announced the appointment of Tim Roemer (pictured) as Director of Operations. In his role, Roemer will support the growth of Ampverse as the company is set to scale across Southeast Asia.

Video gaming is a cultural marker, especially in Asia, with the entire industry predicted to grow to US$6.9billion by 2026, and the Asia-Pacific region accounting for over 51% of gaming enthusiasts. 

Gaming communities, largely made up of Gen-Z audiences, hold the power to create seismic cultural shifts. With that belief, Ampverse creates and celebrates gaming communities across Southeast Asia. 

Ampverse works with brands to drive awareness, engagement, consideration and purchase among Gen-Z audiences, through the Ampverse ecosystem that includes a suite of owned-and-operated esports teams, gaming channels, original content programming, publishing assets and merchandise. 

As Director of Operations at Ampverse, Roemer’s role is largely to implement efficient organizational processes to support the company’s expansion. He will also work closely with the C-suite team to analyze growth and acquisition opportunities across esports, content and product divisions.

Roemer boasts a strong entrepreneurial background, having successfully founded ventures including performance marketing company, Heroleads, which he grew and scaled to over 200 people in five years. 

Commenting on his appointment, Roemer said, “Ampverse consistently remains one step ahead of the curve and I’m thrilled to be a part of this high-performing company.

The video gaming industry, while still nascent in Southeast Asia, is displaying remarkable potential with vast opportunities for growth.

Tim Roemer, Director of Operations at Ampverse

Helping to scale the business across the region is a challenge I’m truly looking forward to taking, with the added benefit of working alongside a talented, high-calibre team.”

Ferdinand Gutierrez, Co-Founder and CEO at Ampverse added, “We established Ampverse based on the belief that hyperlocal communities have the power to drive change. Everyone in our team is a specialist in their own right, bringing together strengths and knowledge from their unique backgrounds to drive these gaming communities.

The appointment of Tim is a testament to Ampverse’s accelerated growth and reflects our commitment to hire the best, enabling us to continue to deliver innovative gaming-centric campaigns that help brands maintain their competitive edge and connect with Gen-Zs.”