Ninjas In Pyjamas joins the increasingly long list of publicly traded esports organizations.

NIP Group, the holding organization that owns Ninjas in Pyjamas, and eStar Gaming has filed an initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ. The organization aims to raise $5 Million by taking the company public.

What is the NIP Group?

Filing the IPO is NIP Group, the entity formed after the merger between Ninjas In Pyjamas and ESV5. The merger was first announced in 2021 and was completed in early 2023. The merger brought together the legendary NIP brand alongside eStar Gaming and Victory Five's rosters in various games in Asia. Since the merger, NIP Group has operated in the esports, talent management, and event organization verticals.

Who owns Ninjas In Pyjamas?

The IPO document outlines several major shareholders in the NIP Group, each with a stake between 8% and 15%. Co-founder Mario Ho, son of the late Casino Mogul Stanley Ho, holds a 14.2% stake in the organization. Meanwhile, the CEO of Ninjas In Pyjamas (Sweden), Hicham Chahine, owns an 11.8% stake. Other notable shareholders include Sun "xiaOt" Liwei, the founder of eStar Gaming, and the Municipal Government of Wuhan, China.

NIP's Ownership Structure, Image via SEC
NIP's Ownership Structure, Image via SEC

Alongside these, various investors also join the Board of Directors for the company. Interestingly, Hans Alesund, father of NIP Legend Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund, still retains his seat on the NIP board.

NIP's IPO financials reveal $13.3 million in losses

Anytime we get a glimpse into the financials of an esports organization, we are reminded once more that esports is still majorly a loss-making operation. The IPO documents state that NIP registered $6.3 Million in losses in 2022, with that figure increasing to $13.2 Million in the subsequent year. That increase matched a similar increase in revenue ($65.5 Million to $83.6 Million). And while the IPO aims to replenish NIP's coffers for investment, the organization still expects to make losses in the future.

Three Phases of Esports+, Image via SEC
Three Phases of Esports+, Image via SEC

Esports+: NIP IPO reveals business model

A fascinating aspect of the document was the myriad references to Esports+. A NIP creation, only ever outlined in the IPO documents, Esports+ is a business model. The model outlines a three-phase structure.

The first phase being competitive esports itself — building championship-caliber teams across the most popular esports titles. [...]  The second phase of esports+, supplementing our competitive esports business with our talent management, event production, creative studios, and burgeoning advertising businesses to create a diverse and sustainable revenue stream driving our continued growth. Going forward, we believe that we are only limited by our imagination for the third phase of esports+, and are actively exploring opportunities in areas such as esports education and training, fan universe (B2C monetization and metaverse), digital collectibles, esports real estate and IP licensing.

Esports+ according to NIP's IPO Filing

How well this Esports+ model will pan out is up in the air. But at least on the Western Front, NIP looks quite similar to other recent IPO busts like FaZe Clan and Astralis. NIP's IPO is still pending approval, but with Underwriters like Deutsche Bank, it should find its way through eventually.

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