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Sun 24th Nov 2019 - Social Entertainment Ventures secures $20m growth fund
Social Entertainment Ventures secures $20m growth fund: Social Entertainment Ventures (SEV), the operator of various experiential leisure concepts in the UK and US, has secured a $20m (£15.6m) growth fund to aid its expansion plans in Britain and internationally. Acropolis Capital, a family investment office with experience in leisure and hospitality in both Europe and the US, led the funding round. On the back of the fund-raising, Toby Rolph, former finance director at cocktail bar brand Be At One, has joined the company as its new chief financial officer. SEV, which is led by Toby Harris, intends to accelerate the roll out of Flight Club in the US, which it operates under licence, and to launch Hijingo, its new bingo concept. The company also operates the Bounce and AceBounce brands and it recently spun off Puttshack, which it co-founded and launched in 2018. SEV will open its second Flight Club in the US, in Boston next month, following its North American debut in Chicago last year. Further expansion of Flight Club in the US is planned for 2020. Hijingo will debut next spring in London’s Appold Street, complete with immersive game play and “ground-breaking production technology”. SEV said it also plans to expand the footprint of Bounce, its original ping pong concept, beyond its existing locations in London and Chicago. Harris joined as chief executive last year with a mandate to drive the expansion of SEV. He was previously with D&D London, where he was chief operating officer. He said: “This raise enables us to kick start a roll out of our existing brands in both the UK and US – our two key markets, and bring further new concepts to life following the successful launch of Puttshack. Innovation remains at the heart of our business as we seek to build a platform of industry-leading brands that can travel. We are seeing a growing appetite from landlords to work with us, on both sides of the pond, given we lead in the space and offer consumers a great reason to visit high streets and retail locations. All of our brands offer unique experiences and we can’t wait to open them in many more locations over the next few years.” He said bringing new concepts to market that can be scaled internationally remains central to SEV’s strategy. Cameron Chartouni, chief executive of Acropolis Capital, said: “SEV is a proven innovator of best in class competitive socialising concepts and we are excited to be supporting the talented SEV management team and its ambitious growth plans.” Adam Breeden, founder of SEV, will now dedicate the majority of his time to creating new concepts within SEV. He said: “I’m delighted SEV is now in a position to roll out at pace across its brands internationally. I’m also excited to be able to focus much more of my time on developing new concepts knowing the business has the financial backing and a first-class management team in place to scale the business.” Harris will also be supported by a strengthened management team, which includes Rolph and Sam Pollard as operations director, who joined the business earlier this year from D&D London. Alan Cichon continues to lead SEV’s US business as president US operations. Puttshack opened its third UK site last week in the City, at No1 Poultry. It also has sites in Westfield London and Intu Lakeside. Further openings are understood to have been lined up in Watford and Reading for the brand. SEV secured an initial round of new funding from Nighthawk Investments, a subsidiary of investment firm Acropolis, of about £2.75m earlier this year to aid its expansion plans.

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