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Sportradar secures new investment for push into US market

Stephen Curry (Kyle Terada - Pool/Getty Images)

Sports and betting-related services company Sportradar has welcomed fresh investment from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Silicon Valley-based growth equity firm TCV as it seeks to tap into the opportunities created by the recent legalisation of sports betting in the US.

CPPIB, through its wholly owned subsidiary, CPP Investment Board Europe, and TCV will become strategic partners of Sportradar, together acquiring a stake at an enterprise value of €2.1bn ($2.4bn) from private equity firm EQT and certain minority shareholders.

Carsten Koerl, founder and chief executive, will retain his entire ownership position in Sportradar and will continue to drive its future development and growth. EQT will also reinvest a portion of its sale proceeds into Sportradar.

Additional existing shareholders include private equity firm Revolution Growth, Monumental Sports & Entertainment chief executive Ted Leonsis, NBA basketball legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, and businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Koerl said: “Having two new investors with a strong North American footprint is ideal given our increasing focus and expanding operations in the US, as the sports industry evolves to meet the expectations of today’s sports fans. Sportradar will continue to develop best-in-class, integrity and technology-driven services as we expand into new market segments, and we’re excited to have such a strong team behind us.”

EQT initially invested in Sportradar through its fund EQT Expansion Capital II in 2012, and subsequently invested through its fund EQT VI in 2014. Closing of the CPPIB and TCV deal is expected in the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and consents.

Sportradar serves as an official partner of the NBA, American football league the NFL, ice hockey league the NHL and stock-car racing series Nascar, as well as football bodies Fifa and Uefa. It is also the only provider to work with the US sports leagues in an official capacity to distribute sports data (NBA and NHL) and audiovisual content (Major League Baseball) around the world for betting purposes.

“The sports data market, particularly real-time data, is a compelling long-term investment opportunity, with strong growth driven by rising fan engagement, opening of new markets and increasing spend on digital sports content globally,” Ryan Selwood, managing director and head of direct private equity at CPPIB, said. “We are excited to partner with Carsten and look forward to supporting his innovative vision for Sportradar by further investing into artificial intelligence and global expansion.”

John Doran, general partner at TCV, added: “Sportradar is a world-class sports data business that has maintained an impressive track record of delivering best-in-class technology solutions with a customer-centric approach. We look forward to working with Carsten and the team to take advantage of the developing US market and drive the evolution of how sports content will be consumed in the future.”