PitchBook News - Getting burned in European soccer

Plus: Tiger Global pumps the brakes; dealmaking holds strong in France, Benelux; Singapore leads VC funding per capita & more
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The Weekend Pitch
June 5, 2022
Presented by Masterworks
(Caroline Suttie/PitchBook News)
Déjà vu all over again.

That's how some observers of ownership changes in European soccer might describe the recent turn of events at Burnley Football Club. The English soccer team, acquired in a debt-financed deal in 2020 by US investor Alan Pace, suddenly faces a world of new financial challenges after a poor season resulted in demotion to a lower league.

The relegation, which drops Burnley into the far less lucrative second tier of English soccer, throws Pace's team-rebuilding plans into doubt and raises questions about the wisdom of debt financing in deals for mid- to lower-ranked European teams, which each season face the risk of dropping into a lower league.

Welcome back to The Weekend Pitch. I'm Chris Noble, and you can reach me at chris.noble@pitchbook.com. This week, we're looking at the trials, and potential tribulations, that are unique to investing in European soccer.

What Pace and his club are going through may simply be the latest example of an old saying that the best way to make a small fortune in soccer is to start with a large one. And by no means is Pace the first investor, foreign or domestic, to suffer from the vicissitudes of European soccer's league tables.

However, Burnley's experience is a stark illustration of how the threat of relegation can wreak havoc for team owners.
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Quote/Unquote

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
"Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week. Moreover, the office must be where your actual colleagues are located, not some remote pseudo office. If you don't show up, we will assume you have resigned."

—Elon Musk in an email to Tesla employees about remote work, as reported by Bloomberg.

Deal flow

(hachiware/Getty Images)
Tiger Global has eased off of leading outsized rounds in recent months, according to PitchBook data. Since March, the average monthly value of deals led by the firm is less than half what it was in 2021.

The cooldown follows reports that the firm's public fund lost $17 billion in the first quarter following the market's tech sell-off.

Did you know ...

(fiftymm99/Getty Images)
... That Singapore has attracted more venture capital investment per capita in 2022 than all other countries receiving over $1 billion? PitchBook data shows that Israel is in second place, raising $506 in VC dollars per person. See the other countries on our list.

Datapoints

(TomasSereda/Getty Images)
Startups hailing from France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands collected €6.3 billion (about $6.8 billion) in the first three months of the year.

This follows a record-breaking 2021, which saw investors pour €18.8 million into the region. Late-stage startups accounted for nearly three-quarters of total deal value.

Read more in our 2022 France & Benelux Private Capital Breakdown.

Recommended reads

Inside venture capital's new normal of disappearing term sheets and down rounds. [The Information]

JP Morgan is on a mission to address the challenges veterans face in VC. [Institutional Investor]

Roblox is one of the biggest metaverse success stories. So why hasn't it turned a profit? [Fortune]

The regenerative farm working to improve soil without fertilizers. [The Guardian]

The first privately funded killer asteroid spotter is here. [Wired]

Why Sheryl Sandberg quit Facebook's Meta. [The Wall Street Journal]
This edition of The Weekend Pitch was written by Chris Noble and Priyamvada Mathur. It was edited by Alexander Davis, John Moore and Sam Steele.

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