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SBJ/May 5-11, 2014/Media
Sports forecaster AccuScore sold to Finnish investors, who’ll point toward international expansion
Published May 5, 2014, Page 4
The group, led by Tuomas Kanervala, an executive with European digital sports company Wall of Sport Ltd. and before that management consultancy Accenture, has purchased the decade-old company from investors Orion Data Analysis Corp. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the acquisition involved a mix of upfront payments and future revenue sharing.
Helping drive the deal was a desire by ODAC investors to find an exit strategy, as well as fuel an international expansion for AccuScore. The company’s new owners are planning a broad European push, beginning this summer with projections around the coming World Cup.
“We see a great deal of opportunity in Europe, particularly in soccer,” said Kanervala, now AccuScore’s chief executive.
The company’s existing domestic operations will remain intact.
AccuScore, which professes to offer a “fee-based sports betting system” in addition to its information-based sports projections, at times has struggled with the uneasy line that often exists in the U.S. between sports and gambling, even as it does not accept wagers or direct users to those that do. But with the continued growth of daily-oriented fantasy sports and many competing outfits such as Bloomberg now offering data-driven services to European entities involved in sports gambling, the sports data marketplace has matured around AccuScore.
“I like to think we helped bring this market to the mainstream,” said Jason Manasse, AccuScore co-founder and former chief executive. Manasse left the company last year but remained a large shareholder until the sale and played a role in helping consummate the deal. “This company needed an international home, and I think this is the next logical step.”