Footballco, the world’s largest soccer-focused digital media company, has agreed to acquire Kooora, the biggest in the Middle East, in a mid-eight-figure all-cash deal, the company told Sportico. Footballco is owned by a venture fund backed by U.S.-based private equity firm TPG Capital, which bought the company from DAZN Group in 2020 for over $100 million.
With the newest buy, Footballco will bolster its strength in soccer content and complement a portfolio of leading local market football media brands, including Calciomercato (Italy), Voetbalzone (Netherlands), and Spox (Germany).
The acquisition will also complement Footballco’s current footprint in the Middle East, which is currently served by seven local editions of Goal.com. The deal more than doubles its audience in the region to 42 million fans while bringing its monthly global reach to 640 million.
“Kooora will allow us to become the number one player in digital football in that specific market,” Juan Delgado, the CEO of Footballco, said in an interview. But while the reach is important, it is not the company’s only mission.
“We’re on a journey to build consumer-driven brands. We want to be the No. 1 choice for soccer news and content worldwide and serve fans not just in the content they read, listen to, or watch, but also in products or experiences that they can ultimately buy.”
Like many media companies, Footballco aims to drive consumers to a funnel that can generate transactional revenue. “Given the breadth of content and geographies that we cover, we can turn our audience into an audience that buys branded streetwear … or betting where betting is legal,” Delgado said.
Kooora reaches an average of 25 million unique users a month. Published in English and Arabic, Kooora has a solid social media presence, especially across Gen-Z platforms TikTok and Snapchat, which generate more than 17 million monthly video views and double its Middle Eastern audience to 42 million.
To further expand Footballco’s presence in the Middle East, the company will be moving its regional headquarters to Saudi Arabia, integrating both Kooora and GOAL’s operations in the region.
TPG’s Integrated Media fund is dedicated to investing in specific digital media verticals. Footballco serves as the sports vertical. Another company called Fandom focuses on gaming and entertainment. “The reason [TPG] is investing in a vertical like ours is because of the opportunity to own the soccer fan and ultimately be this sort of global powerhouse in digital football publishing,” Delgado said.
“If I had a crystal ball, would I guess we would own a football team? In the future? No. Would I guess that we could own an esports team that competes in any football games? Take your pick. Yes.”