FW Sports Investment Fund L.P.

Technology Frontiers

Techfront is a leading global in-stadia arena management company providing activation solutions to the sports, media, and entertainment industries. The company's offerings include highly engineered electronic video screens, sponsorship management services, and proprietary software for scoring and for increasing in-venue fan engagement. Techfront also provides analytical services to sponsors to help them track sponsorship value. The company is involved in notable events and venues in the sports, media, and entertainment domains in all the major geographies across the globe. Techfront's unique products and services are visible in blue-chip events such as Formula 1, the English Premier League, and the Indian Premier League.

To learn more about Techfront, visit www.techfront.in

 

Press Release:

March 11, 2014

Chennai, India

FW Sports Investment Fund Makes a Strategic Investment in Technology Frontiers

FW Sports Investment Fund LP (“FSIF”), a Mauritius-based private equity fund, has acquired a significant minority stake in Chennai based Technology Frontiers India Pvt. Ltd. (“Techfront”). The capital will be used to grow Techfront’s business globally. This is the second round of private equity funding into the company after Avigo Capital’s investment in 2010.

Techfront is a leading global provider of in-stadia activation solutions for the sports, media and entertainment industries. The company has developed proprietary LED-based display products ranging from small indoor and outdoor scoreboards and electronic displays to large video display systems.  Techfront has also developed proprietary software and platforms for hardware control and operation as well as for enhanced audience engagement. The company’s products and services help event organizers in generating incremental advertising and sponsorship revenues.

This is the first major investment by FSIF, Asia’s first sports dedicated fund. The fund is led by Anand S. Krishnan, who has earlier been a Managing Director at JPMorgan in the Americas and Asia.

“There is a dearth of integrated service providers in the global sports and entertainment industry with most vendors providing standalone services for display, sponsorship and fan engagement; with the event manager having to integrate multiple services. Techfront is the only player globally to have integrated technology solutions catering to multiple sports. We are confident that with the strategic support FSIF brings to the table, we will be able to compete more effectively in the global marketplace,” said M. S. Muralidharan, Managing Director of Techfront.

Commenting on the investment, Anand S. Krishnan said “Over a short period of time Techfront has built a strong clientele in the global sporting industry with its customised products and services. We strongly believe that the company is uniquely positioned to satisfy the technology demand of the sports industry. We are excited to be a part of this story and look forward to working with the Techfront team.”

Anand S. Krishnan and Sripat Pandey will be joining the board of directors of Techfront.

Ernst and Young India acted as the buy-side advisor and J. Sagar Associates acted as the legal advisor to FSIF for this transaction.

Lincoln International acted as the sell-side advisor and Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co. acted as the legal advisor to Techfront for this transaction.

About Techfront

Technology Frontiers Pvt. Ltd. (“Techfront”) is a pioneer in the field of arena management, providing state of the art, innovative technologies and fully integrated solutions for the sports, entertainment and media industries. The Techfront platform seamlessly bridges engagement between sports bodies, sponsors and spectators. Techfront has a global delivery system with presence in multiple continents.

About FSIF

FW Sports Investment Fund LP (“FSIF”), a unique private equity fund in the sports and sports ancillary sector, targets investments in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. The Fund provides growth capital, management support, strategic guidance, and synergy opportunities to businesses that provide goods and services to the global sports and sports ancillary industry. FSIF adopts an impact investment philosophy: investment in and promotion of sports results in higher, risk-adjusted returns, as well as positive externalities for society such as better health, increased opportunities for advancement, enhanced infrastructure, and improved sports outcomes.

 

Smaaash Entertainment

With locations in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Ludhiana in India, and debuting internationally at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Smaaash is a rapidly growing provider of unique interactive experiences. A pioneer in the field of sports simulation technology, Smaaash is home to highly immersive, never-before-seen simulators, where one gets the opportunity to test their skills by playing against the most formidable opponents. The centre is home to interactive sports simulators across different sports such as cricket, football, basketball, and racing, as well as many other thrilling and recreational attractions. Featuring activities for men, women, children, families, and corporates, Smaaash combines the best of sport, music, and dining into an involved entertainment experience across all age groups. 

To learn more about Smaaash, visit www.smaaash.in

 

Press Release:

May 13, 2014

Mumbai, India

SMAAASH Ropes in FW Sports Investment Fund as Strategic Investor

FW Sports Investment Fund LP (“FSIF”), a Mauritius-based private equity fund, has acquired a significant minority stake in Mumbai based Smaaash Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (“SMAAASH”). This is the first round of private equity funding into the Company.

Pioneering the field of sports simulation technology in India, SMAAASH has developed a unique concept that blends sports, music and dining into an immersive and involved social entertainment experience. Its first such sports-based entertainment centre was started in 2012 in Mumbai. The centre is home to highly interactive sports simulators across different sports such as cricket, football and racing, as well as many other thrilling and recreational attractions. The Company is promoted by serial entrepreneur Shripal Morakhia, who had earlier founded SSKI & ShareKhan.

“SMAAASH is an emotionally and physically engaging proposition that uses technology to meet consumer aspirations. We are very excited at having FSIF as our partner. Our plan is to open multiple centres across India and globally over the next couple of years, and FSIF’s involvement will help us immensely with our global plans”, said Shripal Morakhia, Founder-Director of SMAAASH. 

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and STAR India are also associated with this unique venture from its inception.

Sachin Tendulkar, who is a strategic investor in SMAAASH,said "The advanced simulators at SMAAASH are fascinating and are very close to real life experience. Sporting enthusiasts can leverage the technology at SMAAASH to harness their skills and gain experience of challenges faced on the field. The facilities at SMAAASH cater to the demands of the young, sporting minds of the nation”.

"SMAAASH demonstrates creativity and innovation at its best -- principles that form the very core that drives Star. That innovation has meant that SMAAASH is quickly emerging as THE sports entertainment destination among today's youth,'' said Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India.

“We are very proud to partner this unique venture and its team led by Shripal from its very conception to pilot and now its growth phase. There's no doubt SMAAASH will soon grow to be one of the biggest global enterprises in active sports entertainment”.

This is the second major investment by FSIF, Asia’s first sports dedicated fund. Earlier this year, FSIF had acquired a significant minority stake in Technology Frontiers, a leading global provider of in-stadia activation solutions. The fund is led by Anand S. Krishnan, who has earlier been a Managing Director at JPMorgan in the Americas and Asia.

Commenting on the investment, Anand S. Krishnan said “SMAAASH leverages sports as a medium to connect with customers – families, corporates, and retail. The Company is uniquely positioned to expand its footprint throughout India and worldwide; its innovative, differentiated, and aspirational offering addresses the bourgeoning demand for active entertainment. We are excited to be a part of this story and look forward to working with the SMAAASH team.”

Anand S. Krishnan and Sripat Pandey will be joining the board of directors of SMAAASH.

EY India acted as the exclusive investment bankers on the transaction and J. Sagar Associates acted as the legal advisor to FSIF. Ajay Shah, Partner at EY India who led the transaction, said “The Indian sports-based entertainment industry has grown rapidly over the last few years, driven by an increase in discretionary spending ability of the consumer. SMAAASH now has a total equity capital base of approximately Rs. 150 crores. This capital base will be a catalyst for the company to achieve its aggressive expansion plans and meet its objective of providing social entertainment via a fun filled, value-for-money experience".

About SMAAASH Entertainment

Spread over 70,000 sq. ft., SMAAASH is one of the largest aspirational, immersive and recreational destinations in Mumbai. Pioneering the field of sports simulation technology, SMAAASH is home to highly interactive simulators, where one gets the opportunity to test their skills by playing against the most formidable opponents giving a truly incomparable experience. The centre has a cricket simulator, an F1 race simulator; a football simulator; a 6 lane twilight bowling alley, an indoor paint-ball arena, several other exciting attractions and a world class sports bar & restaurant. 

About FSIF

FW Sports Investment Fund LP (“FSIF”), a unique private equity fund in the sports and sports ancillary sector, targets investments in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. The Mauritius-based Fund provides growth capital, management support, strategic guidance, and synergy opportunities to businesses that provide goods and services to the global sports and sports ancillary industry.

 

FW Sports and Media India

FW holds exclusive rights for the Wisden brand in Asia, Middle East and North America. The Wisden brand, with an elite positioning amongst cricket fans and stakeholders around the world, has been in existence for more than 150 years. FW Sports and Media India monetizes the Wisden brand through online portals, content syndication, and other offline events. Additionally, one of the company’s products Impact Index is a leading analytical tool used by the cricket fraternity.

For more information on FWSMI, please visit: www.wisdenasia.com

Sportz interactive

Sportz Interactive ("SI") is a leading sports-focused content and technology solutions company in Asia with a vision to revolutionize the sports fan experience by creating best-in-class products. The recent past has seen very rapid growth, both in terms of revenues and in headcount; the company currently has more than 270 employees on the team and is growing continuously. SI works with clients including sports broadcasters, media conglomerates, sports teams, leagues, and associations. The company’s offerings range from providing data and analytics, creating digital assets, and building data visualizations to developing fantasy games, social media innovations, and managing digital content. 

The FW Sports Investment Fund partnered with private equity firm ASK Pravi to take a controlling stake in Sportz Interactive.

To learn more about Sportz Interactive, visit: www.sportzinteractive.net

  

Press Release:

October 13, 2016

Mumbai, India

FW Sports Investment Fund and ASK Pravi Acquire Sportz Interactive

After a successful association of nearly a decade with Chicago-based STATS LLC, Sportz Interactive (“SI”), a leading sports-focused content and technology solutions company based in Mumbai, has now been acquired by FW Sports Investment Fund (“FSIF”) and ASK Pravi Capital Advisors Private Limited ("ASK Pravi"). The association is in line with the company’s strategy for increased global outreach.

Sportz Interactive works with its clients which include sports broadcasters, media conglomerates, sports teams, leagues and associations to revolutionize the sports fan experience across consumption points by creating best-in-class, innovative products. The company’s offerings range from providing data and analytics, creating digital assets and building data visualizations to developing fantasy games, social media innovations and managing digital content. These partnerships will further strengthen Sportz Interactive’s position as a market leader globally. Under its new ownership, Sportz Interactive will continue to work with STATS LLC to service key client relationships.  

The acquisition comes on the back of strong performance by Sportz Interactive over the past two years, during which the company tripled in revenue and grew from 100 people to over 270 players on the team. The growth has been driven by the addition of a number of new lines of business including social media innovations, fantasy gaming and data visualizations that have driven fan engagement at scale. During this time, Sportz Interactive has become an official Media Solutions Partner with Facebook and has added a number of new clients to its portfolio.

“We’ve seen stellar growth at Sportz Interactive over the past two years, and we are excited to partner with FSIF and ASK Pravi to help take us to greater heights. The next wave of growth for us is continuing to develop world-class products and taking our offerings to the world to create global scale,” said Arvind Iyengar, Chief Executive Officer of Sportz Interactive. 

“We are excited to partner with Arvind, Naveen, and the whole SI team to unlock the next phase of the company’s growth. As sports investors, we see rapidly expanding opportunities globally for strong data, analytics, and technology-enabled service providers to change the way audiences interact with sports: from consuming to actually experiencing sports content. SI fits this bill precisely and we look forward to helping the company further enhance its position of leadership as well as conquer new markets,” said Amit R. Krishnan, Director of FSIF.

“We are extremely delighted to invest in Sportz Interactive. Led by a dynamic and young leadership team, Sportz Interactive has grown into one of the best technology service providers in the fast growing Sports Services segment. We look forward to working with the team at Sportz Interactive as they embark on their next phase of growth as they leverage their best-in-class sports data management capabilities to become the partner of choice for those seeking high quality engagement in this space,” said Jayanta Banerjee, Managing Partner, ASK Pravi.

About Sportz Interactive:  

Sportz Interactive is a leading sports-focused content and technology solutions company in Asia with a vision to revolutionize the sports fan experience by creating best-in-class products. Started in 2002, the company has more than 270 players on the team and is growing continuously. Originally only a “Sports Data” company, in the last few years, Sportz Interactive has expanded to a “Sports Data and Fan Engagement” company with the launch of social media innovations, broadcast solutions, infographics and analytics products. 

About FSIF:

FW Sports Investment Fund LP, a sports-themed private equity fund, targets investments in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. The Mauritius-based Fund provides growth capital, management support, strategic guidance, and synergy opportunities to businesses that service the global sports and sports ancillary industry. This >USD500bn ecosystem encompasses technology, internet, consumer products and services, leisure, wellness, health, and other fast-growing sectors.

About ASK Pravi

Mumbai-based ASK Pravi Capital Advisors Private Limited is a private equity firm. It focuses on investing in consumption-driven fast growing businesses in India.