Andy Murray -backed padel firm nearly doubles in value to £18m

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AN Edinburgh-based enterprise backed by Scottish tennis star Sir Andy Murray has almost doubled its valuation in only a matter of months to £18 million, primarily based on the phrases of its final two funding rounds.

The corporate, which goals to create lots of of courts within the UK for fast-growing sport padel, mentioned yesterday it had been valued at £18m in a £3m fundraising involving retail and institutional traders. It additionally revealed approaches from potential companions eager to collaborate “in a number of international locations in Europe and additional afield”.

Game4Padel, which describes the game as a “tennis-squash hybrid…with 4 gamers in a glass-enclosed courtroom about one-third the scale of a tennis courtroom”, had been valued at £10m in its earlier funding spherical unveiled in August final 12 months.

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A spokesman for the corporate mentioned it couldn’t remark when requested if Sir Andy had participated within the newest funding spherical.

The spokesman famous that Sir Andy is amongst “present ambassadors”, together with tennis veterans Annabel Croft and Andrew Citadel and former Welsh rugby participant Jonathan Davies.

He added that these ambassadors had been joined lately by Tia Norton, the primary British girl to compete on the World Padel Tour.

The spokesman revealed there have been now greater than 70 traders within the enterprise, including that Game4Padel’s board and its ambassadors “collectively personal over 50%” of the corporate.

When Sir Andy introduced he was including to his funding portfolio with a stake in Game4Padel in Could 2019, the Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic champion mentioned: “It’s nice for younger folks to play a wide range of sports activities and padel is a fast-paced recreation which is superb for growing hand-eye co-ordination and racket expertise.”

Game4Padel mentioned it already operates extra venues for the game than some other UK supplier.

It added that it “plans to cement its place because the dominant participant in a quickly increasing home market by constructing as much as 300 new courts inside the subsequent 5 years”.

The corporate spokesman mentioned Game4Padel now had 23 venues “working or secured”. He famous the variety of courts per venue may “range from one to 12”.

He added that Game4Padel was in “lively discussions” concerning greater than 50 different venues.

In Scotland, two venues are open, three are secured and there are lively negotiations with about 10 others, the spokesman famous.

Requested about worker numbers, he mentioned the “core Game4Padel staff” is about 10 however added: “That’s prone to improve materially throughout 2022 as venues open.”

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Game4Padel mentioned its fourth profitable fundraising spherical in lower than three years had attracted a combination of debt and fairness capital “that may assist the corporate speed up its plans to develop a UK-wide community of enjoying services for padel, one of many world’s fastest-growing participation sports activities”.

It declared that, in padel, “gamers serve underhand, making it simpler to play”.

The corporate has raised £5.5m in whole because it was based on the finish of 2018.

Game4Padel’s co-founders embrace Jim McMahon, chairman of soccer membership Motherwell. Mr McMahon, a co-founder of Ayrshire entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital funding enterprise, is chairman of Game4Padel.

Revealing its consideration of increasing abroad, Game4Padel mentioned: “The corporate has…lately acquired a number of approaches from credible organisations eager to companion with Game4Padel in different international locations around the globe, giving administration motive to think about the deserves of increasing its operations abroad within the subsequent few years.”

Mr McMahon mentioned: “We’ve had various fascinating approaches from potential companions eager to collaborate in a number of international locations in Europe and additional afield. As encouraging as it’s to be gaining recognition overseas, we’ll take a measured view over time relying on market potential, present competitors, and the power of these potential companions within the related places. For now, we stay targeted on the UK market, the place there’s greater than sufficient work within the pipeline to maintain us busy.”

Michael Gradon, one other co-founder of Game4Padel and the corporate’s chief govt, was on the board of the All England Garden Tennis Membership, which owns and runs the Wimbledon Championships, for a few years, stepping down in December 2019.

The opposite co-founders of Game4Padel are Peter Gordon, a chartered amount surveyor who has labored for Tennis Scotland and SportScotland and based the Thistle Padel Membership in Edinburgh, and tennis coach Vincent Hivert.

The corporate mentioned yesterday that Mr Gordon and Mr Hivert had been “promoted” to new roles. Mr Gordon is now chief working officer, and Mr Hivert is progress and participation director.

Game4Padel famous it had in November introduced a brand new partnership with golf’s governing physique, The R&A.

Three coated padel courts might be included in The R&A’s new group golf facility in Glasgow, along with shorter-form golf programs, journey golf and a 52-bay, double-decker, floodlit driving vary.

Game4Padel added: “The 2 corporations have additionally dedicated to a long-term partnership to determine new potential websites the place the same, mutually helpful mannequin is likely to be possible.”

The Edinburgh firm mentioned it “companions with a variety of venues, together with sports activities golf equipment, leisure centres, parks, faculties, universities and, more and more, business venues”.

Game4Padel declared that its “capital and technical experience” enabled it to “finance, set up, preserve and function padel courts in any setting”.

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