Faze Clan is on track to become a publicly traded company. The competitive esports group is merging with B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp. in a deal that values the combined companies at $1 billion (via Markets Insider). As a part of the deal, Faze Clan estimates it can get up to $291 million to help fund its growth, according to a post on Faze Clan’s website.
What’s a SPAC?
A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company — basically, a pile of cash reserved for a merger that went through the initial public offering (IPO) process. The entire point of the SPAC is to find a private company to merge with. When that happens, the target company essentially goes public without some of the hassles of the traditional IPO process.
There has been a lot more SPAC action than usual lately; The Wall Street Journal even declared 2020 a record year for SPACs. Companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Opendoor, Lordstown Motors, and Fisker have all gone through the process. For a more detailed explanation of how SPACS differ from IPOs, see our SPAC explainer.
Faze Clan is known for its teams that compete in Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and more. With an audience of about 350 million people on social media, the group opened up Faze Studios last year with one of the producers behind the Netflix original 13 Reasons Why. To further bolster its reputation, celebrities like NBA star Ben Simmons, hip hop artist Offset, and popular Twitch streamer NickMercs have all joined the group.
Faze Clan will hit the NASDAQ with the ticker symbol FAZE in 2022, but some are skeptical of its arrival on the stock market. Jacob Wolf, a reporter for Dot Esports, criticized the $1 billion valuation of Faze Clan, noting that Swift Media Entertainment, the parent company of Team Solo Mid, is worth less than half as much.
In its post, Faze Clan says that it plans to step outside of content creation to gain a more diverse source of revenue. As Wolf notes, this may mean that Faze Clan will have to acquire hardware companies, software, or add some other type of tech brand to its portfolio. Esports organization 100 Thieves did just that earlier this month with its acquisition of Higround, a gaming peripheral company, which complements the group’s knack for apparel design.