“Investment” goes deeper than simply writing a check, Mark Josey said, noting Kansas City’s premier esports league plans on being intentional in raising its $2 million seed round.
“When you’re looking for partners, investors and sponsors, it starts at the core with asking: Do they believe in our mission, vision and value? Do they have a fundamental understanding of how the global esports industry engages with the community?” the CEO of the Kansas City Pioneers said.
“That’s why we are very excited for Repeat Holdings to be a part of the Pioneers ownership group,” Josey continued, referencing the firm’s undisclosed six-figure investment. “We see the opportunities to collaborate and use our platform to do good and to do more.”
Click here to read more about the KC Pioneers.
Repeat Holdings is a Kansas City-based investment management firm focused on providing angel investment and seed capital to early stage businesses in disruptive and high growth industries. The collective of four Kansas City professionals officially launched the group in early 2021, said Mark Pierce — one of the four members, as well as the chief revenue officer of MySidewalk.
“One of my colleagues [in Repeat Holdings] is a VP in a healthcare marketing firm; I have a gentleman that is a fractional CFO; and then another investor who has a background in professional sports, so we have a really nice mix of people,” Pierce noted. “We had some capital to work with and were looking for the opportunity to leverage our network, hear about some exciting things, and then be selective on where to invest.”
The KC Pioneers is Repeat Holdings’ first investment, Pierce said, noting that he couldn’t think of a better debut move than jumping into a rapidly growing esports industry.
“Our goal with the Pioneers is to help them grow, find the right investors and take them to the next step in their careers,” Pierce shared. “We’re really excited to have the opportunity to get to know them as individuals because they’re fantastic people.”
Repeat Holding’s six-figure investment is the first big step in closing the KC Pioneers’ $2 million seed round. Rather than being known as the VC firm that invests millions of dollars into an established organization or startup, Repeat Holdings aims to bring credibility to budding ventures, Pierce said.
“In this case, the Pioneers are already a very credible brand — but overall with Repeat Holdings, we realize that we’re not going to be the organization that comes in and invests $20 million,” Pierce explained. “But, we’re really bullish on the idea that we can be the first to invest in an organization. … I think sometimes, the first investment for six figures is more meaningful and difficult to obtain than the seven or eight figure investment that you get a year or two down the road.”
With the pending seed round, KC Pioneers is planning to continue to source top-tier players and streamers in the esports organization, said Josey and his team.
“We want to create more jobs in marketing,” added Jeremy Terman, the strategic advisor to the KC Pioneers. “We want to hire people for social media for content, editing and graphics and design, and then hire people to work on the business side from an operations, sponsorship and sales perspective.”
The funds will also go toward building stronger and more long-lasting community partnerships, Terman said, noting a kickoff partnership event this past weekend with Generation Esports, which featured Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Click here to read more about the new partnership between the KC Pioneers and Generation Esports — the largest and longest-running competitive gaming organization for high school students in the United States.
The final goal for KC Pioneers: to build or obtain a physical space for the venture, the duo noted, explaining that their team has been working remotely from their homes.
“We need to give our team facilities like all the other esport [organizations] we compete against,” Terman said, noting that it would be a place where teams play and fans can gather to watch.
The KC Pioneers are “Kansas City-founded, globally driven,” Josey added. With esports rapidly expanding, the organization is set on being trailblazers both locally and within the entire industry.
“The KC Pioneers have already broken down an extremely difficult barrier of entry in the Midwest; we’re looking at a global esports organization based here in Kansas City,” Josey said. “As we close out this round of funding, it will continue to make us scale and compete at the highest level, so I think it is a very exciting opportunity to get in early and get in now.”