FanAI has secured an $8 million Series A funding round led by Japanese business conglomerate Marubeni Corporation. The raise brings the esports sponsorship analytics platform’s total funding to $12.5 million.Other investors in the Series A include Sterling VC (which is backed by New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon), Allectus Capital, CRCM Ventures, GC Tracker Fund, M Ventures, GFR Fund and Courtside Ventures (which is backed by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert). Fan AI will rely on Marubeni’s investment to explore future partnerships in Asian markets such as South Korea and Japan.FanAI’s platform can be used by rights holders and brands in the esports industry to track demographic data on audiences across broadcast, streaming and social channels. The platform can also measure a fan’s purchasing history to project buyer behavior, and offers tools that calculate the return on investment of sponsorships.
“Marubeni has forged incredibly strong business relationships throughout the region, and with this partnership we are positioned to expand our team and continue to build out our self serve sponsorship data platform,” said Johannes Waldstein, CEO of California-based FanAI, in a press release.Esports organizations such as Gen.G and 100 Thieves, as well as the Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior, have formed partnerships with FanAI. The company has also partnered with esports and gaming events organizer DreamHack.