Close VCTs invest in sports data business

Venture capital house Close Ventures has invested £1.5 million in a company that provides sports data and analysis to media companies.

The funding for London-based Opta Sportsdata comes from Close Enterprise VCT, which raised £19.8 million in April last year.

Opta, which has offices in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, will use the investment to grow sales across its existing businesses.

Close Ventures partner Michael Kaplan, who led the deal for the firm along with director David Gudgin, comments: ‘The sports data market is well established in the US but is still fragmented and fast growing in Europe.

‘As competition among European broadcasters grows, we expect this growth to continue.’

Led by managing director Aidan Cooney, Opta collects and analyses data on 4,000 sporting events every year including football, rugby and cricket matches.

Its customers, who use the data to monitor team and player performance, include internet giant Yahoo, broadcaster BSkyB, video and computer games publisher EIDOS, and spread betting specialist Sporting Index.

Close Ventures manages seven VCTs with net assets of £240 million.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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