Alibaba becomes major investor in esports analytics company

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has partnered with India’s Times Internet to become a major investor in a new esports analytics venture.

Vidooly, an Indian video analytics company, launched the esports platform last year and is currently in the midst of series C funding, through which it was has raised over $2.1m (€1.9m). Alibaba has contributed $2m of this total, with Times Group-owned Times Internet bringing $100,000.

Vidooly’s new offering is intended to help brands, rights holders, game studios and broadcasters better understand the burgeoning esports industry, offering market forecasts, data tracking and consumer insight tools.

Alibaba’s increasing influence in the world of esports may have an affect on the wider sporting landscape. The company became China’s first TOP sponsor in 2017 and, while the IOC has attempted to cool talks of esports being included at future Olympic Games, it is still known to be targeting the esports demographic as the Olympics consumer of the future.