Three Hills Capital Partners (THCP) is to sell its investment in sports technology company Genius Sports Group (GSG) to funds advised by Apax Partners.
Founded in 2000 and headquartered in London, Genius Sports Group is an industry-leading software business to the sports media and regulated sports betting sectors, specialising in the capture and distribution of real-time sports data.
THCP invested in Genius Sports Group in 2015 via a combination of debt and equity: through the provision of a GBP17million loan as sole lender to the company and the holder of a minority equity position of circa 20 per cent. The capital provided by THCP has supported Genius Sports Group in financing strategic acquisitions in the scouting and sports data collection areas and to improve its data collection and trading capabilities. With the help of THCP’s investment, GSG, led by its CEO Mark Locke, tripled its revenues from 2014 to 2017.
Genius Sports Group was established at the time of THCP’s investment in order to become the holding company of the different operating assets resulting from the M&A strategy that was being pursued by the management team. Its main asset was Betgenius, a company founded in 2000 headquartered in London, focussing primarily on the development of software solutions to sports betting and lottery companies.
After the acquisition from Funds advised by Apax Partners, THCP will roll-over part of its proceeds to continue the journey with the management team.
Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports Group, says: “For over three years, we have been privileged to have Three Hills Capital Partners (THCP) on board as our investment partner. Their business acuity, steadfast commitment and early belief in the business has helped fuel our unprecedented growth and establish Genius Sports Group as a global leader in sports data and technology. As we move forward into our next phase of growth, we are delighted that THCP will remain a partner and continue to support our strategic vision and help drive our global expansion.”
Leks de Boer, Partner at Three Hills Capital Partners, says: “The Genius Sport Group deal represents our third successful exit in the last 18 months. We are also delighted to be in a position to continue to support Genius Sport Group in the new phase of their ambitious growth plans rolling over part of our proceeds in partnership with Apax. The results achieved in the last years confirm the embedded value added provided by THCP to its investments through innovative capital solutions to finance the growth of successful businesses. During the period of our investment, we have been committed to delivering data of the highest standard as well as monitoring the betting markets to identify any anomalous and suspicious patterns and other integrity issues. This attention makes GSG one of the most trusted and valued partners in this industry. We are thrilled to hand over our close collaboration with Mark Locke and the rest of the management team to Apax Partners to deliver their next stage of growth and innovation.’’
Mauro Moretti, Founder and Managing Partner at Three Hills Capital Partners, says: “The value of this exit is not only measurable in term of multiples for our investors and stakeholders, but above all confirms that what we bring to the table for mid-market entrepreneurs is not only a sophisticated financing solution which reduce their dilution when raising capital, but also support in key areas like M&A, governance and designing a successful exit.’’