Asia-based martial arts organization ONE Championship just announced through a press release that it has raised an additional US $166 million in the latest round of its funding. Led by major investor Sequoia Capital, who had already invested in the company in 2017, ONE Championship now has a total capital base exceeding US $250 million.
Other investors who participated in the Series D funding round include Temasek, Greenoaks Capital, and other leading institutional investors. The equity investment further solidifies ONE’s dominant market leadership position in the sports media industry in Asia.
This is an extremely significant development for the promotion, as it enters 2019 with an ambitious 30-event calendar.
ONE Championship is on track to make good on its current 24 event schedule, with shows lined up in Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China to close the year.
The company’s vision is to eventually hold at least one event every week, providing martial arts fans in the region with fresh martial arts content and action, easily accessible virtually anywhere they are.
With the extra financial muscle, the company is certainly capable of pulling off the feat and then some.
This year alone has seen ONE grow immensely with the introduction of ONE Super Series, a pure-striking based professional martial arts league bringing together the world’s best in Muay Thai, kickboxing, lethwei, taekwondo, and more.
In addition to ONE Super Series, the company also introduced Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, a travel series talent search which documents Franklin’s mission to discover Asia’s rising martial arts talents while experiencing local cultures.
All of these branches of the main product certainly require enough funding to be successful. Good thing ONE Championship has enough firepower to maintain their position for foreseeable future.
Another possible outlet for funding could go to the acquisition of some big name free agents.
Just recently, it has been heavily rumored that former lightweight champion and well-traveled veteran “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez is close to signing a deal with ONE Championship, which would see the 34-year-old make the move from the United States to Asia where ONE holds its base of operations.
If this were to come to fruition, ONE Championship will add another legendary name to its roster.
Alvarez is well-known across Asia, especially in Japan where ONE revealed massive expansion plans beginning with its inaugural show in Tokyo in March 2019.
Marquee names in ONE in the past have included talents such former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren, Roger Huerta, and former heavyweight champion Andre Arlovski, among others.
In addition to its homegrown martial arts stars like Angela Lee, Eduard Folayang and Aung La N Sang, ONE also currently has the legendary Renzo Gracie, submissions grappling superstar Garry Tonon, and Asian mixed martial arts legend Shinya Aoki in its roster. So the potential to further bolster the talent ranks is massive, especially with the added funding.
More to come from ONE Championship, but this latest news should mean good things ahead for Asia’s leader of martial arts.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/8/2018.