Genius Sports to go public via $1.5B US SPAC deal

October 27, 2020
The NBA is one of the leagues partnering with Genius Sports to supply betting firms with data. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

UK betting data provider Genius Sports is to go public through a merger with DMY Technology Group II, a New York-listed special-purpose acquisition company, in a deal worth around $1.5 billion, including debt.

Founded in 2000, Genius Sports partners with the likes of the NBA, Premier League and PGA Tour to supply betting firms with data from sporting events. The transaction is expected to close early next year.

DMY II raised $240 million in an IPO in August. It's the second vehicle launched by former EMC Corporation executive Harry You and former Glu Mobile CEO Niccolo de Masi. Its predecessor, which raised $200 million in February, agreed to merge with online casino and sports gambling specialist Rush Street Interactive in July. There are now plans to raise $250 million for a third vehicle to target an app-related business.

The deal with Genius Sports comes at a time when more investors on both sides of the Atlantic are using US-listed SPACs for European acquisitions. The UK SPAC market has been dormant this year, with blank-check companies facing hurdles including a lack of incentives, a less-friendly regulatory framework for investors and an unsavory reputation created by notable, ill-fated deals years ago.

Sun Capital Partners filed to raise a $300 million vehicle for distressed European companies in August; a month later, Avanti Acquisition, a SPAC backed by Luxembourg-based investor Sienna Capital, filed for a $500 million IPO.

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