Biz-Esports Summit Spotlight: Sunny Dhillon- Principal, Signia Venture Partners
On May 23rd, some of the brightest minds in esports will come together at the Biz-Esports Summit in Los Angeles. This series explores the background of our extraordinary speakers. In this post we catch up with Sunny Dhillon, a Principal at Signia Venture Partners.
Biz-Esports: Tell us about your professional background and experience
Sunny Dhillon: I cofounded a venture capital fund named Signia Venture Partners in 2012 with 3 partners. We’re all ex entrepreneurs who are now focused on investing in Seed and Series A stage tech companies. My background is largely media and entertainment. I launched a video game investment banking practice at Rothschild in London, was the first business development hire at a venture backed spin off of New Line Cinema, a corporate strategist at Warner Bros, and co-founder of one of the first mobile dating apps on smartphones in 2011. I then was an early investor in the YouTube ecosystem in LA with Pritzker Group Venture Capital before co-founding Signia in 2012. I now invest between $500k and $2.5m for an initial investment across tech companies within consumer mobile, gaming, esports, marketplaces, and virtual reality.
BE: How did you become involved with esports?
SD: We were the earliest investors in Super Evil Mega Corp, developers of Vain Glory. Vain Glory is the most popular hardcore mobile game out there and by far the most successful in terms of its associated esports scene. I also became part owner in a Challenger Series League of Legends team named Team Ember in the last Challenger Series season split.
BE: What do you think is the most interesting thing in esports right now?
SD: Anything that boosts the spectator experience as the majority of the esports market is made up of amateur spectators. Better talent management of pros, higher quality produced content around teams, and franchising of teams and broadcast rights are all exciting prospects right now.
BE: What are you going to be talking about at the Biz-Esports Summit?
SD: Investment and the flow of $’s through esports. That means money from endemic and non-endemic advertisers and sponsors, from publishers, investors (like me), and from players in crowd sourced funding initiatives.
BE: Relative to other markets, esports is still a relatively new industry. How have you seen the general investment community approach esports and what are your predictions for the industry over the next 5 years?
SD: I believe esports will become a multi-billion dollar business globally in the next 5 years. This will come off the back of an increasing number of esports compatible games and a wider audience coming onto the scene. This comes off the back of increased interest in mainstream media games broadcasting, as well as UGC stars emerging from within the player ecosystem. CPM’s for gamer eyeballs are valuable and I think we’ll see progressively more and more mainstream brands entering into sponsorship, advertising, and product placement campaigns with publishers, teams, pros, and tournament organizers in the aforementioned 5 year time period.
Join Sunny and the rest of our all-star guests at the Biz-Esports Summit in May. Experts from across the industry will discuss the biggest topics in esports. Held in Los Angeles, California on May 23–24, you can find conference pricing, including special prices for students and startups, and register here.
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