Sports Data Company Genius Sold to Private Equity Apax Partners

(Bloomberg) -- Private equity firm Apax Partners LLP has agreed to acquire Genius Sports, the data and technology company with ties to a number of global gambling houses and sporting bodies, including Major League Baseball and English Premier League soccer.

Terms of the deal, which is likely to close by the end of September, weren’t disclosed. About three weeks ago Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the private equity firm TCV bought a minority stake in Sportradar AG, another sports data analysis firm, then valued at $2.4 billion.

The flurry of activity comes about three months after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for the state-by-state legalization of sports betting, a development that’s expected to be lucrative for teams and owners. Dallas Mavericks owner and Sportradar investor Mark Cuban has predicted team valuations will double.

In turn, reliable data has also become an essential component of what’s called in-game or live betting -- point-by-point, play-by-play gambles that drive most of the wagering. That same data may be used by media companies to drive programming and engagement, both of which makes the content more valuable.

Data-Dependent

A number of media companies, including Fox Sports, have announced plans for sports betting-related programming, much of which will rely heavily on data.

London-based Genius Sports acts as a middle man, buying the rights to collect, package and distribute official game and player data. Founded in 2000, the company has agreements with several of the world’s biggest sports leagues, including the PGA Tour, global men’s and women’s tennis, and, as of May, the NCAA, the governing body of U.S. college sports.

Through its sports betting division Betgenius, the company’s technology is already used by more than 150 sportsbook operators in regulated markets around the world.

“As the US transforms into the largest legal sports betting market in the world, Genius Sports is perfectly poised to combine its deep insight of U.S. sports with betting expertise to deliver the most sophisticated suite of sports betting products and services,” said Genius Sports Chief Executive Officer Mark Locke.

Apax acquired its stake from founders, management, funds advised by Three Hill Capital Partners, which invested in 2015, and other minority partners.

The investment by Apax “allows us to invest more aggressively in both the organic and acquisition led growth available to us,” said Locke, who will remain in place and retain an undisclosed minority stake in the business.

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