FaZe Clan is now a publicly traded company, but its value is already dropping.
The organisation of esports professionals and gaming influencers has begun trading on the Nasdaq to become one of only a few esports companies on the market.
However, when FaZe agreed last October to merge with acquisition company B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp., it was valued at close to $1bn. Now that value is closer to $716m.
That’s based on 72.5m shares outstanding at $9.88
The group boasts over 500m global followers across social media and has a roster of 93 “influential personalities” from gaming, esports, and beyond, of which only one is a woman.
Daniel Shribman, B. Riley’s chief investment officer, sees FaZe as “a brand that speaks to today’s youth culture like Nike spoke to yesterday’s.”
“We’ve been preparing for over a year to become a public company,” said CEO Lee Trink. “In the time that we’ve announced our merger, we’ve put together a stellar management team and a world class board of directors to oversee the company. FaZe Clan has a professional management team and a public company board to run the business, but as a brand at the forefront of youth culture, it’s critical to include the perspectives of Gen Z and our people who have an innate knowledge of the internet community and the brand.”
However, FaZe Clan has been rocked by controversy, something it thrives on. That includes kicking out a member for a crypto scam, or more recently banning a member for abusive, racist language.
Bloomberg reports of internal volatility at the organisation, with one former employee describing it as a “shit-show” of kids with no experience in business or branding calling the shots.
“It’s edgy, deep-in-youth-culture, deep-in-gaming-culture,” said Shribman. “That’s what makes it what it is. If there were no controversies, that would be pretty boring.”
Trink’s next move will be investing in Web3 – he is “unquestionably” pushing into crypto despite its reputation.