Hot on the heels the UFC’s acquisition by WME-IMG, Singapore-based ONE Championship has received a capital injection from the government-backed hedge fund Heliconia Capital Management.
ONE Championship said the eight-figure investment will help to expand into new ground and increase the number of live events across Asia, especially in China.
Chatri Sityodtong, founder and chairman of ONE Championship, said in less than five years, the organisation has grown into a global brand with a broadcast reach to more than 1 billion homes across 118 countries.
“We have consistently broken attendance records at many of the largest stadiums across Asia. I expect to see an acceleration in business fundamentals across the board for ONE Championship.”
All eyes have been on the world of mixed martial arts this week, with Monday’s announcement that UFC had been sold to global sports management and media company WME-IMG for a whopping US$4 billion.
Victor Cui, CEO of ONE Championship, added that its partnership with Heliconia marks the beginning of a long and fruitful journey to bring ONE Championship to the rest of the world.
“For us, this investment by Heliconia represents a strong vote of confidence and a belief in the value that ONE Championship can bring. This partnership will unlock additional markets and opportunities for ONE Championship.”
Heliconia Capital Management is an investment firm wholly owned by Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore-government.
Derek Lau, CEO of Heliconia, said ONE Championship can potentially be the next big thing for consumers in Asia.
“They have the right product for Asia, they understand Asia and know how to monetise the value proposition in various ways in the new economy.
“We are really excited to see ONE Championship taking the lead in the coming years to grow the sports media and entertainment industry in Asia.”