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London-based Genius Sports Group Ltd announced on Tuesday it would go public through a merger with New York-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) dMY Technology Group Inc II, following the year’s trend of industry firms accessing markets via SPAC deals.
Genius Sports acquires data from sports events and supplies it to sports betting operators, said the deal, which is valued at about $1.5 billion including debt, is expected to close in Q1 2021 The company maintains partnerships with over 500 sports organizations globally, including the NBA, NCAA, FIBA, FIFA, English Premier League, and NASCAR.
The company has a large portfolio of rights to official data – the feed of live sports statistics that is sanctioned, and otherwise owned by the relevant governing league. GSG provides data on over 240,000 events each year – effectively every hour of every day. It is the official provider for over 170,000 of these events.
Global Sports Group’s scale, their access to official data, and innovative technology platforms differentiate it within the industry. Its proprietary technology and data feeds are mission-critical to the success of its sportsbook partners. Especially current with the growing popularity of in-game wagering quickly rising among sports bettors in the US.
SPACs have been flourishing lately and behind some of the most high-profile public listings over the past year. Most notable involved sports wagering monolith DraftKings Sportsbook and billionaire investor Richard Branson’s space tourism firm Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.
“We chose a SPAC deal to help us list quickly and minimize distractions to the daily running of the business,” CEO Mark Locke said in a phone interview when asked why the company chose a SPAC and not to pursue a traditional IPO.
Genius Sports Group looked upon merging with a SPAC as an alternative to going public in a traditional initial public offering, A way to involve less regulatory scrutiny and more certainty over the market valuation and funds raised.
dMY Technology, which Genius Sports named as a “natural partner”, went public in August after raising $240 million from its IPO and has previously purchased Chicago-based online gambling company Rush Street Interactive LP.
The boards of both the companies have unanimously approved the transaction, GSC reported, adding that Locke will be CEO of the newly merged entity between both companies. The new company is expected to trade its ordinary shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GENI” upon closing of the deal.
dMY Technology Group, Inc. II is a $276 million special purpose acquisition company founded by Niccolo de Masi and Harry You for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as the sole bookrunner of dMY II’s IPO; Needham & Co. also acted as an underwriter. dMY II’s units, common stock, and warrants trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbols “DMYD.U,” “DMYD,” and “DMYD.TS”
Niccolo de Masi said:
Elemental data provider Genius Sports Group benefits from the growth of all participants in the global sports betting market. Mark Locke has pioneered the provision of official rights and live data which have been instrumental in building the modern sports betting market. The company has a strong track record of growth and we are very excited by the opportunities for further expansion in this rapidly growing segment.
Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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