Infofed adds online events to services

Infofed adds online events to services

Bangkok-based e-sports startup Infofed has diversified into the online events business, citing the impact of the pandemic, and aims to raise Series A funding by the end of 2020.

Newzoo, a global games and e-sports market research firm, downgraded the world’s e-sports market in terms of sales of tickets and souvenirs from US$122 million to $107 million this year.

The revenue outlook from e-sports media rights was downgraded from $185 million to $176 million, and that from sponsors was revised down from $637 million to $615 million.

“We faced cancellation of offline e-sports events during the pandemic and lockdown,” said Jirayod Theppipit, chief executive and founder of Infofed, which owns Thailand E-sports Arena on Ratchadaphisek Road.

“And we need to reduce our staff and diversify into new businesses in order to survive and reserve cash flow.”

Infofed has established a new business division by leveraging streaming expertise to offer online and virtual conferences, as well as live broadcasts under the brand, called Voovam.

“We can conduct interactive surveys during virtual conferences for business seminars, or live streaming for e-commerce platforms,” Mr Jirayod said.

He said Thailand E-sports Arena has turned into a studio for live streaming events, such as hosting a live event for Lazada and providing virtual travel experiences for community tourism supported by Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Infofed also embarked on e-Arena, an e-sports online platform that could host online e-sports competitions throughout the Indochina market.

“We have an e-Arena in Myanmar and Vietnam as part of our overseas expansion roadmap,” Mr Jirayod said.

“We aim to move aggressively in 2021 and become the market leader in Indochina by 2025.”

By the end of this year, the e-Arena platform is expected to account for 55-60% of Infofed’s total revenue, which could offset the revenue reduction in offline e-sports events.

He said the crisis taught startups to pay attention to ensuring sufficient liquidity, more than any focus on scaling up or growth.

Local startups need to have revenue that can feed their business, particularly during this period, when many of them face challenges in receiving funding as investors as venture capitals become more cautious.

Even so, Infofed expects to raise Series A funding by the end of this year to expand into overseas markets.

E-sports continues to grow as the lockdown encouraged gamers to spend more time playing games, but the crisis also forced advertisers to tighten their budgets for offline events that are affected by the pandemic.

Infofed previously received seed funding of an undisclosed amount from Singapore-based KK fund and EventPop, an event organising platform.