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F1 simulator chain on pole position for £100m financing boost

An operator of Formula One driving simulators is raising £100m to fund its expansion in a financing round backed by the sport’s owner.

Sky News has learnt that F1 Arcade is close to finalising the new debt facility with Liberty Media, the British challenger bank Oaknorth and Cheyne, an investment fund.

City sources said on Wednesday that the deal was expected to be completed within the next week, days before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

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The company’s shareholders include Lando Norris, the McLaren Racing driver, as well as Imbiba, an investment fund focused on the leisure and hospitality sectors.

DMG Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Daily Mail’s parent company, is also an investor.

It currently operates just three sites, including one in Boston in the US, but has already said it wants to grow this to more than 30 globally by the end of 2027.

F1 Arcade’s flagship site, in the City of London, features dozens of racing simulators which allow customers to compete against each other, tapping into growing demand for more immersive leisure experiences.

It was founded by the same executive team as the one behind Puttshack, a technology-enabled crazy golf chain, and Flight Club, which takes the same approach to serving darts enthusiasts.

One banking source said that that F1 Arcade was now valued at about £200m.

A spokeswoman for F1 Arcade declined to comment.

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