A padel tennis business backed by Andy Murray has been valued at £18m following its latest investment round, in which it raised £3m from investors.
Game4Padel, based in Edinburgh, raised the money from retail and institutional investors.
It was the company’s fourth fundraising round in less than three years, attracting a mixture of debt and equity capital aimed at accelerating plans to develop a UK-wide network of playing facilities.
The latest round saw a near doubling of Game4Padel’s enterprise value in just three months, after it raised more than £1.3m last August at a £10m valuation.
Its first two fundraising exercises, in March 2019 and March 2020, were both oversubscribed and raised a combined £1.25m, meaning the company has raised £5.5m in total since it was founded at the end of 2018.
Padel is a tennis and squash hybrid played with four players in a glass-enclosed court about one-third the size of a tennis court.
It has similar rules to squash and tennis, although players serve underhand, making it easier to pick up.
The company has made several new appointments in the recent weeks, with an executive team led by former FTSE 100 director and now chief executive Michael Gradon.
Peter Gordon and Vincent Hivert, two of the company’s co-founders, have been promoted to new roles as chief operating officer and growth and participation director.
Game4Padel also appointed James Rose, a tennis coach with more than 20 years of experience in the field, who created training camps to provide consultancy for individuals and club programmes.
He joins as national development manager, with a remit to launch new padel venues in the south, oversee the training of coaches, and develop the firm’s industry partnerships.
David Taylor, a former investment sector professional, joins the team as a part-time analyst to review potential venues and prepare data on catchment area, financial modelling and venue projections.
Carol Milligan, whose background is in the publishing industry, has also been made an executive assistant.
Jim McMahon, chairman of Game4Padel, said: “One of the key tests for scale-up companies at this stage is judging the right moment to increase spending.
“We have been very prudent so far, to control cash burn, but have stepped up our expenditure in the last few months – primarily on marketing and staff – and are already seeing the benefits of investing in both.”
McMahon added: “We have had a number of interesting approaches from potential partners keen to collaborate in multiple countries in Europe and further afield.
“As encouraging as it is to be gaining recognition abroad, we will take a measured view over time depending on market potential, existing competition, and the strength of those potential partners in the relevant locations – for now, we remain focused on the UK market, where there is more than enough work in the pipeline to keep us busy.”
Last month, Game4Padel announced it had signed the no.1 ranked British padel player, Tia Norton, as a company ambassador.
Norton, 18, the first British woman to compete on the World Padel Tour, has represented the GB women’s senior team five times, and turned professional in August 2021.
In November, Game4Padel announced a new partnership with golf’s governing body, The R&A, whose new community golf facility in Glasgow will include three covered padel courts.
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