Preston's Soccer Manager scores £3m investment

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

Preston-based games studio Soccer Manager has secured a further £3m to support its growth in a funding round led by its existing investor Mercia.

The latest investment, which comes from Mercia’s own funds, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the Government’s Future Fund, will allow it to grow its user base in the Middle East and Far East through local language translations.

It will also enable the company to further develop its Soccer Manager 2022 game, which is due to launch this autumn, and relaunch its original multi-player game, SM World, by creating new apps and adding new features.

Soccer Manager has grown revenue by over 80% since the launch of Soccer Manager 2021 in September last year. Its games are now played in 234 countries around the world and have been downloaded by more than 50 million players, attracting more than one million active users each month.

Founded in Preston in 2004 by soccer-loving brothers Andy, Chris and Steven Gore, the company employs over 40 staff.

A screenshot from Soccer Manager 2021

Soccer Manager was first backed with a loan from one of Mercia’s managed debt funds in December 2013, then received investment from Mercia’s EIS funds in December 2014 and received its first direct investment from Mercia’s proprietary capital in March 2015. Mercia now holds a fully diluted direct investment stake of 39.0% with a further 7.6% held by Mercia’s managed EIS funds.

Andy Gore, CEO of Soccer Manager, said: “We founded Soccer Manager with a vision to create high-quality football games that the whole world could play. We have always had the view that football, mobile and the internet is a powerful combination to achieve this vision. After years of building out our IP, technology, and games to millions of people worldwide, this investment will add significant fuel to our current growth trajectory and ambitions.”

Julian Viggars, CIO of Mercia Asset Management, said Soccer Manager was a "great example of an innovative, regional business".