Sentinels at risk of running out of money amid crowdfunding efforts
According to an offering memorandum on Sentinels’ StartEngine crowdfunding page, the company is in financial trouble amid massive spending on player, staff and content creator salaries.
Sentinels was listed on the investor crowdfunding platform StartEngine on August 4 after a successful testing phase. The company said it saw over 100 individual investors reserve shares during the initial phase.
The listing allows fans to put up their own money to own a piece of Sentinels and comes with a number of perks, based on how fast fans they invest and the amount of money they put in.
However, the company is quickly running out of money, as per an offering memo on the investor page. In a section titled ‘Liquidity and Capital Resources’, the company said that it will be in financial trouble if it fails to raise substantial funds.
“If the company raises the minimum offering amount, and if the company is unable to raise additional capital through either existing shareholders or other outside sources of financing we anticipate the company will be able to operate for 2-3 months,” the memo explains.
The memo also says if the company reaches its maximum funding goal of over $1.2 million, it will be able to operate for four to five months.
Sentinels spend almost $700,000 a month on player, staff and content creator salaries, as well as merchandise inventory, according to the document. The esports organization has three esports teams under its brand in Valorant, Halo and Apex Legends, and has signed four content creators, Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik, Daphne ’39daph’ Wai, Brandon ‘Aceu’ Winn and Jared ‘Zombs’ Gitlin.
Sentinels’ crowdfunding effort reveals financial woes
The memo also lists the salary for each executive at the company, with all four receiving over $200,000 per year. The company’s CEO, Rob Moore, has a salary of $360,000 a year, according to the memo.
In addition to crowdfunding, Sentinels have announced other initiatives to get fans involved. On May 17, the organization launched Sen Society, a subscription service that allows fans to have exclusive access to players, content and merchandise.
In an interview with George Geddes, who has done public relations for the company, Moore discussed Sentinels’ history and the crowdfunding effort. He said the company has “raised, invested and spent about $25 million” over its five years of operation.
The news of Sentinels’ potential financial peril was first shared on social media by Hunter Grooms. Many esports insiders and community members have commented on the revelation since.
“I said a few weeks ago that crowdfunding for a business this late into its path is a red flag and an admission of defeat. I didn’t expect it to be this bad. They are literally approaching the line of the legal requirements necessary for RegCF crowdfunding. Even if they get the funds, they could go under,” esports reporter Jacob Wolf said in response to the news.
According to the company’s StartEngine page, Sentinels has already raised over $65,000. The funds from the campaign will be used to “fund operations, including expansion into new business lines,” the company stated.
Rob Moore dispels notions of financial risk amid Sentinels crowdfunding campaign
However, after the flurry of responses from the community about Sentinels’ potential financial woes, Moore released another interview quashing suggestions of financial problems, stating that the crowdfunding campaign is simply an opportunity for fans to invest in the organization.
“This is all about making sure investors have as much information as possible when they make the decision,” Moore said of the information shared in the offering.
Saying that they wanted to give investors full disclosure, which meant talking about how the campaign would help them financially. However, Moore explained that the campaign does not mean that their current investors have stopped funding the org.
“We raise capital internally, our investment group is very committed to the strategy that we have, and the intention is that we will continue to commit funding to the operation. We’ve created this opportunity where fans can invest alongside us.”