Have you ever thought about who financed the padel court you're playing on? Probably not. Chances are high it's a private equity firm.
The list of recent investments is long. DM Equity Partners (DMEP) invested in The Padellers, a padel location in Amsterdam. MCH Private Equity invested in All for Padel to boost its international expansion. And Peakz Padel receives funding from Axivate Capital.
Question is, why? These are the three main reasons.
Padel is booming
You'll learn padel and get better at it quickly, which makes it quite addictive. Former tennis pro and padel entrepreneur John van Lottum sums it up well. "It takes 5 years to learn tennis, and 5 hours to learn padel." Padel is usually done with four people, so it's also a social game. And you can play padel both indoors and outdoors, year-round. There are now 75,000 people who regularly hit a padel ball. Within 3 years, it's expected to be 200,000. Some even say that padel may become more popular than tennis.
Padel is lucrative
Running a padel court is lucrative. There is currently more demand than supply for courts to play. Getting your hands on a padel court on a Tuesday night in Amsterdam a week in advance? Good luck with that. This over-demand is driving up the price. For 1.5 hours of padel you pay up to 60 euros. That's 1.5 times more than tennis for a court half the size. A more expensive, smaller and almost always occupied court makes the sport highly profitable per square meter.
Start-up costs are high
Padel parks are expensive to build. A padel park needs 5 to 7 courts to be profitable. For a complete park you can easily spend 600 thousand euros. For banks, these types of investments are too risky to finance completely. So private equity financing comes in handy, especially if you want to open many locations. Peakz Padel, for example, wants to have 50 padel parks in the Netherlands and expand to Germany.
Chances are high that we will see more private equity firms investing in padel in the future. This is good news for the sport and for those who want to invest in its growth.