Despite their bold assertions, ONE Championship’s declining financial health is becoming increasingly worrying.
Bloody Elbow has, for the past few years, had access to ONE Championship’s SEC-like annual financial filings with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong basically alleged fake news when their 2020 data revealed $48 million in losses for the year.
“I’ll just say like look, the internet is a dangerous place if you believe everything you read,” Sityodtong said (September 2021).
“There was tons of inaccuracies, tons of errors, it’s not even like one or two, if it were just like one or two I would point it out. I mean like, it’s not worth addressing. Again, it’s like I said, um, like, I like to let the truth speak over time.”
Group One Holdings, the parent business of ONE Championship, has once again submitted its most recent financial accounts to ACRA, a year after doing so last time. Bloody Elbow has obtained a copy of these records, which indicate not just massive losses in 2020, but also a staggering increase of over 100% in 2021.
Their most recent filing shows that ONE will lose over $100 million in 2021. On the 31st of December, 2021, ONE had accrued losses of $383 million.
Despite ONE’s escalating losses, the organization has proven adept at securing funding.
One has $274 million in share capital at the start of 2021, but just $88 million in liquid assets. Another $243 million ($56 million of which came from the convertible note) was raised that year through the issuing of preference shares. The Company claimed $519 million in share capital as of December 31, 2021, but only $172 million in cash and fixed deposits as of the same date.
How long can ONE continue losing money at this rate? By 2022, the company will have lost almost $400 million. Are more investors willing to believe that they can turn things around?
With Sityodtong recently declaring they are on course for double-digit revenue growth in 2022 and intends to be profitable in three years, ONE may be counting on this.
However, this is something that Sityodtong and other ONE officials have maintained for a long time.
Sityodtong told the Financial Times in 2017 that despite ending the year with a cumulative loss of $67 million, the company was “very, very close to profitability.”
Even though they predicted “annual revenues of $100 million are imminent” to Variety in 2018, they ended up losing $126 million instead.
According to an interview Sityodtong gave Business Insider in 2019, the UFC and ONE Championship constitute a global duopoly in the combat sports industry, with the UFC holding an 80% market share in the western hemisphere and ONE Championship holding a 90% market share in the eastern hemisphere. And together, we make up two of the industry’s 800-pound gorillas. By the end of the year, they had lost a total of $229 million.