Divergent Investments leads Series B funding round
Warner Bros. Discovery is among those to have invested in the Professional Triathletes Organisation’s Series B funding round.
Private equity fund Divergent Investments led the round, investing in May 2022, with majority investor Sir Michael Moritz also financing the project again after being the sole investor in the Series A funding round.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Discovery has extended its relationship with the athlete-run organisation, having already picked up the European rights to the PTO Tour last year. As well as broadcasting the organisation’s competitions, it will now also be a strategic partner for its athlete-led approach and future growth plans.
2023 will see see an expansion on the PTO Tour, with the inaugural staging of the PTO European and PTO Asian Opens. The full 2023 PTO Tour race line-up and dates will be released early this year.
Andrew Georgiou, president and managing director of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “Working closely with rights-holders is a fundamental part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s strength in sport and the foundation of how we use our scale, expertise and platforms to help grow sports and their events. This is at the heart of why we are investing in the PTO and deepening our relationship, providing the opportunity to sit alongside them and have a real impact in driving and developing its properties and the sport of triathlon more widely.”
“We have seen the potential of the PTO Tour and the benefits we can bring the sport first hand since our media rights relationship began in 2021, expanding this year to present the first year of the Tour on our channels and platforms across Europe. Triathletes have some of the most compelling stories in sport, so we are excited by the opportunity to provide them with an even greater platform and chance to connect with today’s fans and new, broader audiences into the future.”
PTO executive chairman Chris Kermode, who was appointed in October, added: “The successful raise is further validation of the PTO’s athlete-led model and broadcast and content-led strategy. Our multi-year broadcast agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery was a significant milestone when we announced it in July , and their decision to become a first-time strategic investor in the PTO is testament to the longer term opportunity of growing and commercializing Triathlon.”
“There is still much to do; we are only at the start of our journey, but I am confident that we are on the right path. This is an exciting opportunity to modernise a sport and give these ultimate endurance athletes the opportunity to showcase their extraordinary talents, while being rewarded appropriately.”
PTO CEO Sam Renouf said: “We are excited to announce the addition of new strategic investors Divergent Investments alongside Warner Bros. Discovery and the continued investment from Sir Michael Moritz; plus existing partners Eckuity. The completion of our Series B round is a reflection of the progress the PTO Tour and our athletes have made this year. We are honored that Divergent chose the PTO as its first ever investment, recognizing the unique opportunity of becoming co-owners of a sport with the world’s greatest athletes.”