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Message: Vinik-backed esports group gets $21.5 million investment
By Lauren Coffey  – Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal

While the esports sector continues to rise in the technology industry, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's own esports investment is following suit.

Los Angeles-based AXiomatic LLC raised $21.5 million earlier this month, according to an SEC filing. The company requested $25 million and received the $21.5 from an unnamed investor. Calls to AXiomatic were not returned by Monday afternoon.

AXiomatic was founded in 2015, formerly called TLC eSports LLC. In 2016, the organization dove into the esports industry with the acquisition of esports brand Team Liquid.

Vinik is a co-executive chairman of aXiomatic and one of five people on aXiomatic's board, after joining in 2017. In June 2017, aXiomatic raised $16 million in a Series A funding round in part from Vinik. In October 2018, former NBA star Michael Jordan joined Vinik and the other investors by leading a $26 million round of funding.

Vinik originally rose to fame with Fidelity Magellan Fund in the 1990's and is now a major investor in a slew of real estate and tech projects in the region, including Water Street, tutoring app Knack and innovation hub Embarc Collective.

AXiomatic is a heavy investor in other gaming companies, most recently in January of this year with Pokémon Go developer Niantic with a $245 million Series C funding round.


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