Sightline Payments, a financial technology supplier to the sports betting, gaming and lottery sectors, has secured a strategic investment from Searchlight Capital Partners, a global private investment firm with more than $8bn in assets under management. The transaction establishes a post-money valuation of $525m for the company.

Sightline, which serves many of the premier US gaming and entertainment operators, including the top-10 sports betting and gaming operators, said it is poised for significant growth with 60-plus programs live in 39 states. 

Play+, Sightline’s flagship solution for seamless and secure pay-and-play with nearly 1.5 million enrolled accounts, is a cashless mechanism for users to safely and easily store money and fund their entertainment on gaming apps, on the gaming floor, and on sports platforms with instant access to their money, anytime, anywhere – all from a smartphone. 

Customers can also use their Play+ account for transactions at restaurants, retail or e-commerce outlets, and can make ATM withdrawals to easily access their funds while earning valuable loyalty benefits.

The Play+ solution has proven particularly valuable to operators and customers given accelerating demand from consumers for digital payments and cashless integration. Not only has demand for cashless payments in integrated resorts gained tremendous momentum, but sports betting is burgeoning. 

Concurrent with the funding announcement, Sightline Payments co-founder and CEO Kirk Sanford announced his retirement and resignation from the company’s Board. Sightline President of Americas, Joe Pappano, a 30-year FinTech, payments and gaming industry veteran, has been appointed as CEO and a Director of the firm.

Explained Sanford: “Sightline is undergoing an exciting and important transformation and Joe will be an incredible leader, a fierce customer advocate, and is an industry powerhouse. I am confident in his ability to deliver truly phenomenal business performance. 

“I also want to offer my sincere thanks to my incredibly talented colleagues and to the Sightline Board for their guidance and leadership during my tenure. Searchlight is a first-class firm that values and respects those who built the company and whose capital, strategic guidance and operational support will help create considerable long-term value.”

In a statement co-founders Tom Sears (COO) and Omer Sattar (EVP Strategy), said: “Kirk has been an exceptional visionary and during his tenure grew the company into a leader in the FinTech industry. 

“Thanks to his many years of hard work, dedication and guidance, Sightline is well-positioned to continue its leadership role in digital payments technologies for the entertainment and gaming ecosystem. The new capital from Searchlight, plus the addition of seasoned and proven executives in key roles will help drive our efforts to be a customer-centric, highly efficient growth company.”

Christopher Cruz, Managing Director at Searchlight, added: “The company (Sightline) is well-positioned to ride the secular trends of consumers’ demand for cashless and digital payments and significant end market expansion. Searchlight is proud to partner with the Sightline management team and co-founders in this investment and to support the acceleration of its growth and innovation.”