Firm co-founded by industry veterans David Abrams and Arne Rees
David Abrams was previously a Partner at Apollo Global Management and the Chief Investment Officer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment
Arne Rees previously served as U.S. Chief Executive Officer of Sportradar and a Partner at MSP Sports Capital, with prior leadership roles at ESPN and the Union of European Football Associations
NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Velocity Capital Management (“Velocity”) launched today as an investment firm that collaborates with visionary founders and executive teams to build best-in-class global businesses at the intersection of sports, media, and entertainment. With more than 60 years of relevant and collective experience, Co-Founders David Abrams and Arne Rees have significant domain expertise as investors, owners, and operators of professional sports and esports franchises, sports betting, data and analytics businesses, and digital entertainment and content production companies.
Velocity targets businesses that accelerate innovation through disruptive technologies and improve the ways people consume content, play and experience sports, and interact with each other. As a partner for growth-stage companies with strong business fundamentals, Velocity targets control and non-control equity investments up to $50 million, in companies with enterprise values up to $2 billion. The firm seeks to provide strategic capital, operational expertise, and a global network of trusted, long-standing relationships.
Velocity’s investment philosophy is anchored by three pillars: capital preservation, rigorous diligence, and a focus on delivering attractive risk-adjusted returns. The team applies private equity-style, bottom-up due diligence to growth-stage companies and seeks to minimize risk through structural enhancements and active governance. Velocity has already received significant support from highly respected individuals and organizations across its core investment verticals.
David Abrams, Co-Founder of Velocity Capital Management, shared, “Today’s capital raising and operating environments for growth-stage companies are challenging, and it is becoming increasingly important for management teams to have access to experienced partners they can rely on to help them scale their businesses. Our expertise as investors, owners, and operators in the industries in which we specialize enables us to serve as both a capital provider and strategic business partner focused on driving long-term value creation for all stakeholders.”
Mr. Abrams, who chairs Velocity’s Investment Committees and leads the underwriting for the firm’s investments, was previously the Chief Investment Officer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, where he managed four verticals: a consumer brand incubator, two sports technology venture funds, equity investments in high-growth companies, and entertainment-focused real estate projects. Mr. Abrams also has deep institutional investing experience as the Founder and Managing Partner of the Apollo European Principal Finance Funds and significant distressed experience from his time at Credit Suisse, where he was the former Head of its Specialty Finance Investment business and the Co-Head of its Global Distressed Sales and Trading Group. Mr. Abrams has additional industry and domain expertise from previous roles as the Co-Owner and Managing Partner of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (AAA-Affiliate of the New York Yankees), controlling owner of Keemotion (Synergy Sports), and Chairman of New Meta Entertainment, which owns esports franchise Dignitas. He is also a Co-Owner of Crystal Palace of the English Premier League.
“Velocity’s platform is supported by a strong leadership team with specialized expertise in our core industry verticals at the intersection of sports, media, and entertainment,” added Arne Rees, Co-Founder of Velocity. “We believe pricing in the private markets will continue to recalibrate and I believe that Velocity has the strategy and expertise to maximize upside potential for both its investors and business partners. I am excited about the firm’s future and what we will be able to achieve as a team.”
Mr. Rees was previously the U.S. CEO of Sportradar, a leading global sports technology company that provides critical data infrastructure and content to the betting and media industries. Currently, he serves as an advisor on Sportradar’s U.S. Board. He led the company’s strategy and successfully navigated the business through its 2021 IPO. Mr. Rees has significant investing experience from prior roles as a Partner at MSP Sports Capital and RSE Ventures/Vayner RSE, which invested in technology enabled companies. He previously held leadership positions within ESPN as the Vice President of International Business Development and Digital Strategy and as the Head of Strategy and Business Development for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Mr. Rees is also currently the Chairman of the Bundesliga America League.
Velocity has received investment capital from industry leaders who have long-standing and strategic relationships with its Co-Founders, including: Delaware North, one of the world’s largest privately held companies with global foodservice and retail management operations, including at more than 50 major sports and entertainment venues; mobile and casino-based retail sports betting operations in several states; and ownership of the Boston Bruins and TD Garden; Bolt Ventures, a family office with diverse investments in sports and entertainment assets across the U.S and Europe; Mark Rowan’s family office, RWN Management, LLC.; Signify Wealth, a Registered Investment Advisor, on behalf of its NFL clients; and Remington Ellis Management, a sports marketing and talent agency, alongside its client Leeds United’s Jack Harrison.
Velocity already closed one investment and believes it will close two additional investments in Q4 2022. Velocity’s first investment, Camp NYC, Inc., is an experiential retail business that leverages intellectual property to create a unique shop/play, interactive experience for young families.
In addition to Messrs. Abrams and Rees, Velocity is fortunate to be backed by a deep bench of talented and seasoned investment professionals and executives, including Jessica Li as Partner and Head of Investor Partnerships and Sarina Crisci as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. Ms. Li is responsible for managing business development and investor relations. She was previously an international business development professional for Pretium Partners, MidOcean Partners, and AQR Capital Management and started her career at Goldman Sachs’ Investment Management Division. Mrs. Crisci is responsible for managing Velocity’s daily firm operations. Mrs. Crisci was previously a Vice President of the Family Office division at Clarfeld Citizens Private Wealth.
The investment team includes Dylan Zane and Nishant Jain. Mr. Zane worked on numerous acquisitions, capital raises, and financing transactions throughout the sports and entertainment ecosystem at Evolution Media Capital. He was also part of Rothschild & Co.’s Technology, Media, and Telecom group where he advised on mergers and acquisitions, capital raises, and restructuring mandates. Mr. Jain has previous experience investing in consumer, business services, and industrial companies at Blue Point Capital. He also focused on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, and restructuring transactions for clients in business services, technology, and industrial companies at Teneo Capital.
Velocity has also hired Touré Claiborne, Head of Consulting and Sponsorships at Intersport, as an Operating Partner to focus on firmwide initiatives. Additional investment professionals, operating partners, and advisory board members will continue to be announced.
About Velocity Capital Management
Velocity Capital Management is an investment firm that collaborates with visionary founders and executive teams to build the next generation of best-in-class global businesses at the intersection of sports, media, and entertainment. Velocity’s leadership has nearly 60 years of institutional investment experience through numerous market cycles and across multiple asset classes, industries, and geographies. We combine this investment acumen with our domain expertise gained through ownership and operational roles across the sports, media, and entertainment ecosystem. For more information about Velocity, please visit: https://www.velocitycm.com.
SOURCE Velocity Capital Management LLC