The Sentinels have announced that they will be listed on equity crowdfunding platform StartEngine. Fans can use it to buy shares in Sentinels and invest in the org.
Sentinels is giving its fans the opportunity to invest in the company through StartEngine, a startup crowdfunding platform. The North American organization will be listed on the platform on July 15. Once listed, fans can reserve shares and invest in Sentinels. The company is valued at $30.09 million and will offer approximately 4% of its equity for sale.
Sentinels seeks creative ways to invest
Sentinels was founded in 2016 and fields teams in VALORANT, Apex and Halo. The company is privately funded and has been led from the beginning by its co-founder, former Paramount Pictures Vice Chairman Rob Moore. “Our passionate fans have been key to the growth of Sentinels and we look forward to inviting fans to be a bigger part of our journey,” he said in the press release.
The Sentinels are launching their latest investment round through investment platform Start Engine, which allows individuals to purchase small stakes in the team for a minimum fee of $300. Although Sentinels is pursuing an equity crowdfunding strategy, the approach to the capital raise builds on the company’s experience with Sen Society, its subscription-based fan club launched in May 2023.
While Sentinels is not introducing a second fan club, it is offering exclusive benefits to fans willing to invest money in Start Engine. A $500 investment will give fans access to a limited edition jersey, $1,000 will get them a uniform jacket, and $5,000 will give them access to a Discord channel where members can participate in Sentinels’ business strategy.
Crowdfunding as a solution to Esport crisis?
Although Sentinels is likely to raise more than $1 million with the crowdfunding push, the road is not an easy one Involving fans as investors brings the SEC (the Securities and Exchange Commission) into play – and for a company like Sentinels, dealing with that agency may negate the benefits of going private. Sentinels may or may not benefit. “If they want to incentivize and make it more of a Patreon model, that’s their right – but at the very least, they need to be very, very careful to outline the risks and really point out that it could be a riskier venture and specify that in different ways,” said Jason Chung, director of Esports and Gaming at New York University.
“At the end of the day, there’s a mechanism for that, and of course they can make use of that, but they still have a responsibility to the fans who are participating as shareholders, not just as fans.”
Rob Moore said he believed the equity crowdfunding approach would lead to a better outcome than FaZe Clan’s IPO last year.
He added, “But right now, a lot of people want to see how this plays out. And we feel like we’re smaller, we’re younger, we’re growing very quickly and we have a real connection with our fan base.Maybe this is a good time to give them the opportunity.”
Right now, many brands are trying to reduce their spending in Esports, and there’s nothing wrong with exploring this type of creative fundraising plan. Crowdfunding, while promising in the short term, remains a stopgap measure – because in the long run, the problem is a bigger one, and donations won’t help fans much there either.