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ONE Championship “prepared to invest US$1bn” despite job losses, vows CEO

Getty ImagesONE Championship has "many years of cash", according to CEOMMA promotion announced US$70m funding and 20% staff cuts this weekOrganisation to refocus on Asia as Covid-19 delays US event debut ONE Championship founder and chief executive Chatri Sityodtong says the martial arts company is "prepared to invest US$1 billion" after streamlining its operations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including cutting one-fifth of its global workforce. The Singapore-based promotion confirmed the staff cuts on 15th June in the same release announcing that the company had raised US$70 million in its latest funding round, taking the total amount of capital accumulated by the business to date to US$346 million. The funding round featured existing backers and an unnamed new investor, which Sityodtong told SportsPro is a “multi-billion dollar investment fund from the US” with “deep experience in sports entertainment investing”. The additional capital will be dedicated to ONE’s “business as usual”, Sityodtong noted, including operating expenses and live events, which he said could resume “possibly next month”. Sityodtong, who claims ONE is now armed with a “nine-figure war chest”,  acknowledged that “it might seem paradoxical” to announce fresh investment amid news of staff cuts, but said “extraordinary times” require “unusual prudence”. “If you have a lean, focused organisation, and you have a big balance sheet, we believe that’s the best way to navigate these uncertain times,” he added.

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