1/ST Racing Invests In MyRacehorse

Michael Behrens with the 2020 Kentucky Derby trophy won by Authentic | Coady photo

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MyRacehorse has entered into an agreement with 1/ST Racing, which is among a group that has invested $7 million in the company that sells fractional ownership and will help market MyRacehorse at its family of tracks, according to a joint press release from the groups Thursday morning.

Michael Behrens, the founder and CEO of MyRacehorse, told TDN that his company was looking to add investors with the passing of B. Wayne Hughes. Hughes, who owned Spendthrift Farm, was an early supporter of MyRacehorse and an investor in the company. MyRacehorse continues to own horses in partnership with Spendthrift but the farm itself is not an investor in the company.

“I've been talking to people globally now that we're in Australia, Ireland, the UK and the U.S., and have put together a nice collection of investors, led by 1/ST,” Behrens said. “We raised $7 million collectively. This is the next chapter in our journey and validation that people see what we've done in democratizing ownership and getting more and more people involved is working. 1/ST has been a big supporter since day one. With 1/ST's commitment to innovation, this made a lot of sense and I was happy they decided to come in.”

1/ST will not have an ownership stake in any of MyRacehorse's horses and will have no influence over any decisions that are made regarding a horse's career or racing schedule, said Behrens.

“1/ST's mission to introduce and engage the next generation of fans and owners in innovative and entertaining new ways aligns perfectly with the MyRacehorse concept,” said Aidan Butler,
Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING & GAMING. “The ability to become an owner of a Thoroughbred racehorse and to be part of an ownership experience that until now has been inaccessible for many, is truly exciting. We have seen firsthand the success of MyRacehorse and we look forward to helping scale this platform across racing, wagering and beyond.”

“The majority of this investment will go toward the building out the framework of the technology to continue to provide better technology for mass ownership for horse racing and set us up for expansion into other sports,” Behrens said. “It's 1/ST. There will be a lot of interesting collaborations around the on-track experiences and gaming through their ADW. They own all the assets that are symbiotic with ownership and I think that you will see an evolution of the product and the ownership experience.”

Behrens said MyRacehorse will team with 1/ST to provide on-track experiences and perks available to MyRacehorse customers and that new initiatives will be announced in the months ahead.

“(1/ST CEO) Aidan (Butler) and the whole team at 1/ST have always been big supporters and have always helped us to provide the best possible experience,” Behrens said. “With this partnership there are a bunch of things in play that we will be announcing over the next months and quarters that will be incremental to the ownership experience. We will plan on larger and larger events now that we have the partnership solidified. The race-day experience you will see right away will evolve at those tracks.”

The funding will also be used to allow MyRacehorse to expand its stable of horses, Behrens said. Launched in Los Angeles in 2018, MyRacehorse offers prospective owners the chance to buy into a racehorse for as little as $100. Hughes was one of the investors in the seed-round funding, and became an active partner, campaigning the 2020 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic in partnership with MyRacehorse, among others.

“In our first chapter we have served nearly 100,000 users and the app has enabled us to fractionalize more than $50 million in racehorse offerings,” said Behrens. “We see this partnership and investment as the start of new chapter–one of significant scale and growth. Just the fact that we are well capitalized and have raised $7 million, that gives us access to not only having liquidity in the company but also being able to get more money through credit lines to buy more horses. Luckily, we've been in a position where the majority of our horses sell out relatively quickly. We've been trying to balance our growth. When Wayne first came in, we went from buying a handful of horses to dozens of horses. I would expect another step change. We went from being very modest founder-funded to being able to capitalize with our partnership with Spendthrift. It was a major step change. I see this as another move. We now have the ability to go out there and meet demand.”

The platform currently boasts more than 50,000 active owners and 100 active horses who have won over 160 races worldwide, with earnings in excess of $20 million. MyRacehorse is
predominantly focused in the United States and Australia and has recently expanded to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

 

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