PointsBet announced last week it has secured an AUD 94.16 million (over $65 million) investment from SIG Sports Investments Corp, a subsidiary of financial giant Susquehanna International Group, making the company the largest shareholder in sportsbooks with a 12.8% stake.
PointsBet also announced that its subsidiary PointsBet Europe (PBE) has signed an exploratory contract with SIG-owned Nellie Analytics to provide a nine-month, zero-cost, exclusive sports analytics service.
The Australia-based company issued 38.75 million new shares to SIG Sports for AUD 2.43 ($1.69) each, the equivalent to a 15% premium, compared to a 5-day volume-weighted average price of June 17. PointsBet added that the company’s board of directors would not change as a result of the stock placement.
In an official press release, Jeff Yas, Cofounder and managing director of SIG, spoke about this investment and said: “We have been following their journey for some time and have taken a very positive view of overall business operations and the capabilities of the PointsBet leadership team. PointsBet will lead to future growth and success in the North American sports betting market. Believing that it has great potential, the SIG has both analysis and capital to realize that potential. “
Brett Paton, Chairman of PointsBet, added: “The cultural partnership between the two organizations is strong and this investment will support the expansion and growth of our North American business with the aim of leading in-play betting and improving the overall customer experience.”
As for the exploratory deal with Nellie Analytics, this firm will provide PBE with sports analytics and quantitative modelling services for 9 months, while the parties continue to scope and develop the terms for additional services, with the intention of entering into a definitive long-term agreement. Nellie Analytics currently utilizes in sports analytics the same quantitative approach as SIG in the financial markets, bringing together expertise in mathematics, gaming, and technology.
Nellie Analytics is based in Dublin, Ireland, with a team of approximately 30 technologists. It has built quantitative models and technology to trade and make markets for professional sports using trading acumen, advanced statistical forecasting models, and quantitative research. Its services will seek to complement and enhance the operational capabilities of PBE and accelerate the company’s technology roadmap as it relates to highly sophisticated risk management and trading algorithms, with a focus on in-play in the North American market.
PointsBet Group CEO Sam Swanell.
Both parties have agreed that if a definitive agreement is reached, Nellie Analytics would provide its services exclusively to PBE for a minimum of three years with the ability for PBE to terminate the definitive deal without cause at the end of each year of the term. Commenting on the arrangements, PointsBet Group CEO Sam Swanell commented: “In Nellie Analytics we have found another like-minded team of technologists, whose services we believe can accelerate our product led strategy and thus our right to win in the USA, Canada and Australia. In practical terms, the partnership will enable PointsBet to have more accurate lines and sharper risk management. This will flow through to our customers in the form of higher wagering limits, less price suspension, faster bet placements and improved value for bettors.”
David Pollard, SIG’s Head of Strategic Planning stated: “Since its inception, Nellie Analytics has sought to leverage SIG’s experience in quantitative modelling in financial markets and apply those lessons to creating a world-class sports analytics business particularly focused on inplay. We are thrilled to explore the possibility of applying that hard-earned knowledge to a like-minded partner’s platform. With the North American sports betting market still being in the very early innings of its development, we believe that PointsBet, with Nellie’s potential assistance, is well-positioned to capitalize on the market’s inevitable growth.”