Team17’s Founder and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE

Case study

Team17: From investment to IPO

LDC has nurtured me well and been a good friend on this journey.

Debbie Bestwick MBE, CEO and Founder
Team17

We supported the continued growth of this innovative video games business, through to an IPO.

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Sector
  • Technology, Media, Telecoms

Team17 is the global games label, creative partner and developer of independent, premium video games.

Employees: 95

Deal type
  • Development capital
Exit type
  • IPO
Exit date

23/05/2018

Exit value

£107.5m

Investment

£16.5m

During our partnership, indie games developer Team17 – led by CEO and Founder Debbie Bestwick – continued its significant success, with international sales increasing 40% and both revenues and EBITDA growing by more than 100%. In 2018, the company announced an IPO, launching onto London’s AIM market, in a £217m listing, with LDC remaining an investor.

Team17 is best-known for games including the iconic and Worms franchise, as well as Overcooked and The Escapists. The business creates and sells a range of successful titles worldwide through distributors including Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Google, and works closely with third-party developers to help bring their products to market.

A strategic partnership

In September 2016, Team17 chose to partner with LDC and secured a £16.5m investment to fuel its expansion.

By 2017, it was revealed as one of the UK’s fastest growing businesses and was recognised for exceptional profit growth in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 as ‘one to recognise’. It also won Growth Management Team of the Year at the BVCA Management Team Awards in Yorkshire and the North East and Debbie Bestwick was awarded the National EY Entrepreneur of the Year – in the Disruptor category.

In 2018, Team17 was listed in the 2018 Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 for the first time, after delivering exceptional international growth. The firm placed 84th in the league table, which ranks Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses with the fastest-growing international sales. In the first two years of our partnership, the business increased international sales by more than 40%.

We only met with a few people. We were fortunate because everyone tabled offers for what we wanted, so we chose the best partner. LDC brings a globally-recognised name, and they have been really good at connecting us.”
Debbie Bestwick MBE, CEO and Founder
Team17

Comprehensive support

Team17 continued to grow with revenues rising by 119% to £29.6m in 2017 (2016: £13.5m), and EBITDA increasing by 111% to £12.9m (2016: £6.1m) over the same period.

Growth was underpinned by further investment in product development and new launches, continued overseas expansion and a commitment to delivering a bespoke service to each of its partners.

Our work with Team17 went beyond just financial backing.

Debbie explains: “LDC helped me develop as a person as well as developing the business. For example, the team encouraged me to enter the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award. Because of that, I did loads of interviews and really learned how to position the business to outsiders. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have had the skill for the IPO meetings.”

Ongoing investment

In May 2018, we partially exited our investment in Team17 following its successful IPO. The £217m listing raised proceeds of approximately £107.5m. Recognising the continued growth potential of the business, we remained an investor.

Following the IPO, the business has further accelerated its growth strategy and raised its profile on a global scale.

They have helped me develop as a person as well as developing the business. It was LDC that encouraged me to enter the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award. Because of that, I did loads of interviews and really learned how to position the business to outsiders. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have had the skill for the IPO meetings.”
Debbie Bestwick MBE, CEO and Founder
Team17

Awards

Disrupter of the Year

Debbie Bestwick MBE, CEO Team17 – EY Entrepreneur of the Year

Growth Management Team of the Year

Team17 – BVCA Management Team Awards in Yorkshire and the North East

Sunday Times SME Export Track 100

2018