INTERNET AND TECHNOLOGY
The group has gained international acclaim with highly profitable early-stage investments in some of the world’s most recognisable internet companies, such as Facebook, Groupon and Zynga. USM’s current assets include stakes in many successful businesses in the technology industry, including Alibaba, JD.com, Xiaomi, Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Zalando, Flipkart, Ola Cabs, Didi Chuxing, ZocDoc and Klarna.
USM is the major investor in ESforce Holding, one of the world’s largest esports organisations and the industry leader in Russia. ESforce is a vertically-integrated international esports company, covering key industry areas from the organisation of international competitions and creation of professional content to publishing, advertising, and retail and merchandising.
The holding also owns RuHub and Storm Studio, the key producers of media content for gaming audiences, which amass more than 400 million views annually, amounting to 80 million hours. The company’s media content receives more than 1 billion views per year. ESforce is launching eight new gaming media content production studios to further boost its growing viewership.
The company holds the advertising and media rights to the world’s leading esports clubs, Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere and SK Gaming, who combined have won 450 gold, 274 silver and 268 bronze medals at international tournaments.
ESforce’s Epic Esports Events holds several world championships and organises the All-Russia Student Esports League and the Russian Cup. Its tournaments are watched by approximately 30 million online viewers annually.
ESforce owns Arena Moscow, one of the world’s largest esports stadiums. The venue covers 5,000 square metres, with the capacity to stage championships involving teams of up to 15 players each, as well as host esports training sessions, fan events and entertainment programmes.
ESforce has also launched esports merchandising shop Fragstore. Currently, the company is a partner of a retail chain operating 11 websites in five countries: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Sweden and Germany. At present, it is seeking to expand its operations to the United States and Asia.