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Deal 5: Knacks CEO Dawid Szymanski on Sale of Majority Stake to RightBridge Ventures

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On March 1, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that KWKR Konieczny Wierzbicki had advised Knacks's owners on their sale of a majority stake in the company to RightBridge Ventures. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Dawid Szymanski, CEO at Knacks, to learn more about the sale.

CEEIHM: To start, please introduce us to Knacks.

Szymansk: Knacks is an e-sports marketing and management agency working with professional e-sports players, content creators, and owning gaming products. We started operating in 2018 focusing on the Polish market as our region of origin but, after two years, we decided to expand our activities to Eastern Europe and Nordic countries. Throughout time we've been representing players from Estonia, Denmark, Ukraine, Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria. We've been hosting an international tournament called the Streamers League with five countries participating: Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, and Greece. 

CEEIHM: As CEELM reported, you recently sold a majority stake in the company to RightBridge Ventures. What do you believe made your company particularly attractive to the buyer? 

Szymansk: I believe e-sports is a very attractive direction of growth for investors. The pandemic showed us that when the whole entertainment world stops, e-sports and gaming continue to grow which makes this industry very attractive to people who want to look for investment opportunities. But gaming and e-sports were very attractive even before the pandemic started. Currently, the e-sports market is valued at USD 1.28 billion and gaming itself at USD 201 billion. We need to remember to separate e-sports and gaming (e-sports is part of gaming but gaming is not necessarily part of e-sports) but both industries are growing exponentially. 

CEEIHM: You said that "now being part of RightBridge Ventures, we can take a step further and accelerate the further internationalization of our operations in Asia, Latin America, and Northern Europe." Can you tell us more about these plans?

Szymansk:  We are implementing these plans right now but we are aware that things have to be done step by step. Currently, we are focusing on building our strength in Europe, and slowly we will move forward into new markets. I won't share our plans now but I encourage you to follow our steps.

CEEIHM: What was the most complex aspect of this deal from a legal perspective?

Szymansk: The most complex aspect from both my and my lawyer's perspective was that Knacks was run as a sole-proprietor company which from one side allowed me to run a business without too many complications throughout the last few years but incorporating an investment with this kind of business is complicated. We had to figure out how to do it properly and move all the business into a limited liability company. Even though we are not a huge corporation, the process itself took a couple of months and both sides had to have a lot of patience. I'm grateful that we all managed to go through this!

CEEIHM: Last but not least, why did you choose KWKR to advise you on this matter?

Szymansk: KWKR was recommended to me by a friend of mine who's been in startups for years. I've decided to try them out and to see if they are as good as he said. I need to say they are even better than I expected.

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