George Soros re-invests in Sports.com

Sports.com raises over £9m in its latest funding round, and will probably use some of the cash to develop 3G services
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Internet content site Sports.com has defied the woes of the technology sector by raising £9.3m from a number of existing shareholders, including US investor George Soros.

The company announced on Wednesday that its latest round of equity funding had been successful, and would help it to achieve profitability by the middle of next year. As well as Soros Private Equity Partners, Sportsline.com and IMG also invested more money in Sports.com -- which also raised around £37m at the start of this year.

The additional funds will probably be used to develop services for third-generation (3G) mobile phones. "In our first two years, we built Europe's most visited sports site across six countries and launched our successful betting platform. Now we will focus on continuing to syndicate our content and commerce in to emerging platforms like next generation mobile telephony," said Tom Jessiman, chief executive officer of Sports.com, in a statement.

Sports.com currently generates about 120 million page impressions each month, making it Europe's largest supplier of sports content. It offers content in five different languages.

George Soros was initially sceptical about the Internet boom. After incorrectly gambling that the dot-com sector would slump in 1999 -- when many stocks actually reached astronomic valuations, he then rushed to buy technology stocks shortly before the crash of Spring 2000. This is thought to have cost his Quantum Fund around £2bn.

However, he would seem to think that Sports.com is a winner. "Sports.com has built great content, spent carefully, and partnered wisely to become Europe's clear leader in sports media and betting," said Ramez Sousou, managing partner of Soros Private Equity Partners. "This funding enables Sports.com to extend in to new profitable enterprises," he added.

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