Genius Sports calls 2021 ‘transformational’ after record Q4

Genius Sports believes it can accomplish its full-year 2022 financial objectives after it outperformed its expected guidance for Q1 by 10%.
Image: Genius Sports

Genius Sports has declared positive financial results across all commercial verticals, as it ended a ‘transformational’ 2021 with revenue improving by 75% year-on-year, but with a notable EBITDA drop.

Publishing its Q4 and FY2021 financials, the sports technology and data rights firm revealed year-end revenue of $262.7m (2020: $149.7m) with Q4 earnings standing at $84m ($47m), a 79% improvement YoY. 

However, the group’s full-year EBITDA fell by 91% to $1.6m from (FY2020: $17.5m), corresponding to an EBITDA loss of $12.507m recorded in Q4 (Q4 2020: $4.034m).

The bottom-line decline was attributed to an “accelerated investment in Q3 and Q4 to fund growth initiatives”, particularly in the US market which required “high-tech” business. 

Despite Genius’ revenue growth, increased expenses throughout the year saw the firm post a year-end loss of $213,433 – with a reported Q4 loss of $25,410. 

These expenses were incurred over several areas, with notable developments including the firm’s NYSE listing (April 23) – with associated SPAC costs – and its $200m acquisition of sports data tracking and innovation studio Second Spectrum.

Genius remains confident in its commercial prospects for 2022 following new data, streaming, and engagement partnerships with bet365, Betfair, and the Canadian Football League (CFL), coupled with substantial revenue increases across a range of verticals.

Mark Locke, Co-Founder and CEO, remarked: “2021 was a transformational year that saw Genius form innovative new relationships with leagues, sportsbooks and brands alike, which allowed us to deliver record group revenue in the fourth quarter.”

Of significance, the aforementioned takeover of Second Spectrum in addition to its acquisition of Sportzcast contributed to its Sports Technology & Services’ full-year revenue rising by 131.7% YoY to $37.2m ($16.1m) and Q4 income triple to $13m ($4.3m).

Meanwhile, Q4 revenue for the Betting Technology, Content & Services unit stood at $53.9m ($35.3m), and full-year earnings for this division reached $177.2m, a 60.2% growth rate on the previous year ($110.6m).

Genius attributed this to price increases as a result of its official data rights strategy, expansion of its value-add services and addition of new offerings, adding that new customer acquisitions and greater available event content strengthened full-year trading.

Lastly, revenue for Media Technology, Content & Services in the fourth quarter doubled from $7.5m to $17.1m in the fourth quarter and by 109.6% to $48.3m for the full year ($23.1m).

Customer acquisition was again cited as a key income driver in this area, particularly in Europe and the Americas, with programmatic advertising services and inclusion of revenues from recent acquisitions specifically outlined as central to this growth.

Locke concluded: “We are confident that 2022 will be another strong and profitable year as we capitalize on the growth opportunities ahead and continue to expand our services around the world.”

Looking ahead, Genius anticipates 2022 revenue of $340m and adjusted EBITDA of $15m, with revenue in the range of $430m to $440m and adjusted EBITDA of $40m to $50m the following year.