Nerd Street Gamers Completes $12 million Series A Financing, Looks to Expand Esports Across the U.S.

Nerd Street Gamers, the esports infrastructure company, has completed a $12 million Series A financing round, the company announced on Thursday. Philadelphia-based retail chain Five Below, which has stores across the U.S., led the fundraising round.

Nerd Street Gamers builds facilities, dubbed “Localhosts,” that host esports leagues, tournaments and training camps aimed at amateur gamers. Like Five Below, Nerd Street is also based in Philadelphia. The new funding will help Nerd Street expand its Localhost venues nationwide. As part of the investment, Nerd Street will build 3,000-square-foot Localhost facilities that will connect to select Five Below retail locations beginning with a multi-store pilot in 2020.

The company’s are planning for more than 70 Nerd Street-Five Below locations to open in the coming years. Nerd Street Gamers locations allow amateur esports players the chance to play on internet connectivity and gaming equipment that is of professional caliber, according to Nerd Street. “This round of funding led by Five Below and the opportunity of Localhost locations connected to Five Below stores empowers our vision of a world where esports is accessible and inclusive for everyone,” John Fazio, Founder and CEO of Nerd Street Gamers, said in a statement.

Nerd Street recently opened a 32,000-square-foot Localhost in Huntington Beach, Calif. Existing investors in the company include Philadelphia-based sports-tech VC firm SeventySix Capital, Comcast, Elevate Capital, and angel investor George Miller. Former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook and former Phillies first-baseman Ryan Howard are part of the investment team at SeventySix Capital.