Albion Ventures triples money with Opta exit

UK-based Albion booked a return of more three times its investment following the £40m sale to Perform Group.

Albion Ventures, a UK-headquartered venture capital firm, has sold sports data and analysis business Opta to digital media company Perform Group for £40 million, representing a return of more than 3x, the firm said in a statement.

Opta was formed in 1996 as a provider of sports data and analysis and has since grown into the leading company in the industry, Albion said. Its data is used by the betting industry, print and online media, sponsorship, broadcasting and professional performance analysis. BBC Sport, CNN, FC Barcelona and L’Equipe are amongst the 300 global customers who rely on Opta’s services.

Albion amassed a 14 percent stake in Opta over three funding rounds, the first of which occurred in February 2008. All told, it invested about £2.1 million in the business through five of its listed venture capital trusts: Albion Development VCT, Albion Income & Growth VCT, Albion Technology & General VCT, Crown Place VCT and Albion Enterprise VCT. 

Albion was the company’s only institutional backer, according to a spokesman for the firm. It was represented on the company’s board, and provided strategic and managerial advice. It is understood to have received numerous approaches for Opta in recent years.

Patrick Reeve, managing director of Albion Ventures, said the investment “underlines our strategy of backing strong management teams in high growth sectors”. 

Albion currently has about £230 million in assets under management.