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LDN UTD, the purpose driven org that has become renowned for using gaming and esports to address social issues, has today announced its acquisition by Ludus Gaming.
Ludus Gaming who recently acquired NFT game development studio Look Labs will become the majority shareholder of LDN UTD in its current form, with Daniel Gee of Ludus becoming CEO of LDN UTD. Founder and outgoing CEO of LDN UTD, Oliver Weingarten, will become Chairman, with James Sheehan of sport, media and finance group SM22 joining the Board as a non-executive Director.
In recent years LDN UTD has earned its reputation within the esports community. Whether providing opportunity and accessibility to gamers at a grassroots level (with FIFA or League of Legends) or at a more competitive level, getting into the Valorant Champions Tour (and latterly partnering with OG Esports); hosting high profile virtual and physical events on Twitch to address social issues (mental and physical health, education, nutrition), working with the Mayor of London, Rio Ferdinand Foundation, Durham University, Green Man Gaming, content creators, influencers including co-owner Connor Ball, and a host of other stakeholders including web3 brands (e.g ARterra Labs) and charities (e.g. CALM, Street League).
The Camden Centre of Excellence, which has been supported by key partners including Alienware, Dell, HyperX and noblechairs, will continue to host regular community events, provide a home for content creators and upcoming streamers, and be a hub for LDN UTD’s education initiative, UTD EDN; providing an inclusive platform for young talent to learn key professional skills to support them on their journey to a career in the esports & gaming sector. Additionally there will be more opportunities developed with local authorities having successfully partnered with Camden Council on their Youth Pathways Scheme - which works with young people who have been impacted by youth violence and gets them into 6 month work experience placements.
The board of Ludus Gaming represents a combined 30 years of experience in finance, technology and community driven business development, and will be exploring further sponsorship opportunities, digital membership solutions, hospitality and events and pop up activations to blend the traditional gaming aspects of LDN UTD with other complementary businesses within its group.
I have consistently stated it is imperative that LDN UTD aligns with partners that believe in the values and ethos of LDN UTD, and want to continue to drive it forward, innovating at every opportunity. With Ludus, Dan and James, I’m confident we have the right ingredients to fulfil the potential that LDN UTD has shown over the last few years, with a view to scalability, which has been tough to drive forward from an investment perspective in a challenging economic climate. There are many people to thank for their support in getting to this stage in the journey, too many to name today, but to the advisors, brands, and stakeholders who have bought into LDN UTD, who have shown trust in LDN UTD, and who have supported me, my sincerest thanks. The biggest thanks however goes to our community.
Oliver Weingarten, Chairman, LDN UTD
Ludus Gaming was created to push inclusivity in gaming and the ethos of LDN UTD fits perfectly with our purpose. We explored lots of acquisitions including other esports orgs but working alongside Olly and the LDN UTD team we knew this would be the perfect fit for our team; leveraging our skills in building long term commercial partnerships and growing brands. We can’t wait to begin the transformation into a global esports education and development community and explore deploying the LDN UTD model worldwide.
Daniel Gee, CEO of LDN UTD
Bringing together an established esports brand like LDN UTD with high performance sports, media and gaming talent introduced by the Ludus team and SM22 network will greatly enhance the overall corporate offering and commercial value of the enlarged group. We look forward to developing the education platform and adding significant revenue to LDN UTD with new commercial partnerships and high quality content.
LDN UTD unites professional esports and grassroots gaming with healthy lifestyle and social issues. We have previously held campaigns addressing racism and diversity, knife crime, nutrition, mental and physical health, and education, partnering with stakeholders including the Mayor of London, and Rio Ferdinand Foundation. Our verticals provide opportunity and accessibility for grassroots gamers to represent LDN UTD as well as working with the community to showcase esports can be a force for good. Our UTD EDN (education) initiative increases opportunities for young talent to develop the necessary skills to enter and work in our sector, and participants undertake a mix of workshop based learning and work experience in our purpose driven Centre Of Excellence in Camden, London.
LDN UTD website - https://www.ldnutd.gg
Ludus Gaming is a digital sports and gaming investment vehicle with a focus on inclusivity in gaming. As a business we want as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of gaming from being a part of a community to making money from play to earn (P2E). We take the hard work out of gaming for our members by providing an easy membership solution for players to access some of the most valuable, fun and engaging assets and content from some of the leading NFT and traditional games. By blending digital and physical products we create a simple to access and scalable solution for everyone to get gaming. Ludus has grown from a concept to a developer of 2 games, a contributor in over 11 games and with over 1,000 assets and partnerships with major guilds worldwide.
Dan is a tech entrepreneur, developer and former investment banker. Dan started as a hedge fund trader before eventually founding, buying and selling va3rious brands ranging from finance, fashion, gaming and consumer cyclicals. Over the last 15 years Dan has raised over £500m in growth capital for small and mid tier UK companies and worked on projects with brands such as Mulberry, Pro Direct Soccer and Nike. Dan’s focus in both his professional and charitable work is inclusivity and helping communities engage and scale. Dan has worked as a gaming beta tester for PlayTest since 2019 and worked with a number of game development and VR studios in the U.K.
James is Managing Director of sport and media marketing and finance group SM22 as well as an executive director of leading football agency Next Generation Management.
James is a corporate strategy specialist and has floated hundreds of companies on London's stock exchanges in successful IPOs. James has also managed several M&A transactions and delivered a significant number of trade sales for unquoted companies.
He is a chartered fellow of the Institute for Securities and Investment and has held leading positions at several financial institutions including Cornhill, Charles Stanley and Kyte Group.