The Swiss company for betting in sports has landed a spot in Nasdaq on Tuesday.
Image courtesy of Sportsradar, Nasdaq, and Forbes
Carsten Koerl, founder and chief executive officer of Sportradar, started a company twenty-one years ago alongside startup Betandwin (now Bwin) that received an initial public offering in the Vienna Stock Exchange of Austria, only to lose control of it, but the deal provided him with enough financial independence to consider retirement at 35 despite forgetting the exact amount of profits from it.
However, Koerl told Forbes via Zoom on the morning of Tuesday that he never considered retiring, so he used his long vacation in Australia to buy in Norway a controlling stake worth 150,000 euros or about USD 135,000 at the time in Market Monitor, a specialist in betting in sports that later became Sportradar, in 2001, yielding good outcomes.
The Swiss company went public on the Nasdaq on Tuesday, helping leagues in sports compile and transmit information such as statistic figures in games to outlets in media and betting operators. Its shares opened at USD 27 per share before it touched USD 25.05 by a close in the market, making it worth USD 7.4 billion. Koerl will remain the chief executive officer with 81.8 percent of the voting rights as well as 31.8 percent of the stock that Forbes believes to be worth USD 2.4 billion, with minor stakes at the hands of Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban, Ted Leonsis, (respective owners of Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Capitals) and Todd Boehly (part-owner of Los Angeles Dodgers).
The 56-year-old entrepreneur from southern Germany that lives in Switzerland recently cited Sportradar as his means to delve into sports and technology. His love for sports and competition has been persisting since he was a boy that supported the club for soccer Bayern Munich in Germany.
However, an article from the Globe and Mail from 2018 wrote that Koerl noted that he might not thrive in sports, so he took science in computers. He studied engineering in electronic items and microprocessors at the University for Applied Sciences in Konstanz in Germany, before he started Betandwin in 1997 and Sportradar in 2001.
Sportradar has been serving more than 900 sports betting customers such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Flutter, and more than 150 partners in leagues of sports such the NBA, MLB, and the NHL after it reached the United States in 2014. Sportico reported that the NHL also has the right to buy stock worth about USD 90 million from Sportradar as part of its deal on data rights with the company. Its pre-IPO filings said that it had nearly USD 18 million from the profit of USD 478 million last year, yet it still faces problems.
It risks much loss due to the outbreak of COVID-19 that reined in the world of sports. Moreover, competitor Genius Sports secured earlier this year the license on the data rights of the NFL that Sportradar had held for two years, although the league keeps a stake in equities of 7 percent in its Stateside branch as part of an earlier agreement, Koerl cited the size, revenue, and figures of profits of Sportsradar as grounds for remaining on top, as Genius Sports only capitalizes at USD 3.7 billion in the market.
He said that becoming a billionaire does not change much for him, still aiming to stay out of the spotlight, but not wanting to retire earlier either much like two decades ago, adding while smiling, “It was the right time to say, ‘Okay, let’s start something new because I’m on a journey,’… Two weeks ago, I was swinging in a canyon in Switzerland with my son because he wanted to see if Daddy could do this or not… Of course, I can. I’m competitive… I love what I’m doing… I’m feeling super-energized, and as long as I feel valuable for the business and the company, I want to perform”.