Le Sports boosted by further funding

Le Sports, which is operated by Chinese internet company LeEco, has been valued at CNY21.5bn (€2.96bn/$3.3bn) following its latest influx of funding, the company has said.

In February, it was reported that $1bn (€900m) had been raised through a series B financing round.

It has now been reported that the funding round attracted about 30 investors, including HNA Capital, a private equity unit of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which will reportedly have a 5.85-per-cent stake in Le Sports.

“We didn’t plan to raise this much," Liu Hong, LeEco’s co-founder and vice chairman, told the FinanceAsia website. “We initially aimed for only CNY3bn. The market enthusiasm was too high and pushed up the scale to Rmb5bn. But even that couldn’t stop [investor demand]…  We are under a lot of pressure because it’s about relationships. Many of them are strategic investors [of the whole LeEco group], not just financial investors.”

Le Sports has also reportedly agreed deals with five national football associations – representing England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – as well as a number of Chinese sporting associations, that will allow the company to carry out interviews with athletes and officials during the Uefa Euro 2016 football tournament and the 2016 summer Olympic Games.