Genius ups 2021 forecasts as investment soars to maximise US opportunities

Genius Sports has outlined that its US-focused expansion strategy is on course, having experienced significant growth in the third quarter of 2021 and striking partnerships with a number of major betting operators.

Publishing its Q3 2021 trading update, the NYSE-registered sports data and technology provider detailed group revenue of $69.1 million, a 70% increase on the previous year’s figure of $40.5 million.

Additionally, revenue rose 60% year-on-year to $25.9 million on a constant currency basis, whilst a unit breakdown saw earnings increased 48% year-over-year to $43.6 million for the group’s Betting Technology division.

Meanwhile, the Sports Technology unit saw a revenue rise of 159% YoY to $11.6 million, largely attributed to the pre-Q3 acquisitions of Sportzcast in December 2020 and Second Spectrum in June 2021. 

Lastly, the company’s Media Tech branch reported income of $13.9 million, a YoY growth rate of 114%, again driven by ‘inclusion of revenues from recent acquisitions’ as well as ‘new customer wins for programmatic advertising services’.

Period expenses related to ‘strategic investments’ and ‘data rights costs’ offset group revenue to a large extent, resulting in group EBITDA $400,000, a 104% decline on the Q3 2020 figure of $9.3 million.

Updating its forecasts, Genius revenues for 2021 have been raised to between $257 and $262 million (previously $255-to-$260m). Group EBITDA is expected to be ‘broadly breakeven’, a reflection of its reinvestment strategy conducted with the goal of ‘supporting long-term sustainability and scale’.

Mark Locke, Genius Sports Co-Founder and CEO, said: “Genius Sports’ growth is accelerating at an unprecedented level that far surpasses our original expectations. We are capturing more opportunities than ever before, underpinned by the broad adoption of official data by the entire ecosystem,”

“While only months into our first NFL season, we are even more confident of the long-term prospects of the partnership. We are transforming the global sports betting market through our progressive investment in technological innovation, and we will continue to do so for years ahead.”

Much of Genius’ Q3 revenue growth was attributed to the firm’s successful operations in the US, in particular its agreement with the National Football League (NFL) which has seen 97% of the American sports betting market use the league’s data exclusively via Genius.

Partnerships with a number of major operators, including Caesars, DraftKingsEntain/BetMGM, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock Digital, Penn Interactive – to power Barstool SportsbookPointsBet, Caesars, DraftKings, WynnBet, and 888 – to power SI Sportsbook – has seen Genius make extensive use of its NFL connection.

Finally, on a state-by-state basis, Genius was able to secure certification by the Arizona Department of Gaming as a temporary event wagering supplier and by the State of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Affairs as an online gaming service provider.

Moving forward post-Q3, the firm will have gained operational status in 18 US states following its certification as a sports wagering service provider by the State of Louisiana Gaming Control Board for a six month period whilst also sealing a betting odds partnership with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

Additional post-Q3 sports league-centred agreements have been finalised in Europe, where the aforementioned Second Spectrum secured an official data tracking agreement with Denmark’s Superliga and 1st Division football leagues.

The company has maintained confidence in its investments strategy, stating that: “The positioning of the business over time will rely on the investments made in this early stage of the Company’s growth cycle, which may present attractive opportunities with sustainable long-term returns.”

Nick Taylor, Genius Sports CFO, affirmed: “We’ve positioned the business for continued success, giving us great confidence in raising our 2021 revenue outlook. 

“We anticipate continued strong revenue growth as the market continues to expand and evolve, while preserving the option to reinvest in the business to fund strategic growth initiatives and drive long-term sustainability and scale. 

“This early stage of our growth cycle presents a window of opportunity to invest in the future success of the business, and we’re excited to continue building towards our strategic vision.”

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