A SCOTTISH business backed by Scottish tennis star Sir Andy Murray which has embarked on building hundreds of courts for fast-growing sport padel has raised £3 million from retail and institutional investors in a funding round which values it at £18m.

The valuation of Game4Padel has more than doubled in a matter of months. The Edinburgh-based company had been valued at £10m in its previous funding deal unveiled in August last year.

Game4Padel said its fourth successful fundraising round in less than three years had attracted a mixture of debt and equity capital “that will help the company accelerate its plans to develop a UK-wide network of playing facilities for padel, one of the world’s fastest-growing participation sports”.

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The company has raised £5.5m in total since it was founded at the end of 2018.

It described padel as a “tennis-squash hybrid played with four players in a glass-enclosed court about one-third the size of a tennis court and with broadly similar rules, although players serve underhand, making it easier to play”.

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Game4Padel said it already operates more venues than any other UK provider.

It added that it “plans to cement its position as the dominant player in a rapidly expanding domestic market by building up to 300 new courts within the next five years”.

Game4Padel’s co-founders include Jim McMahon, chairman of football club Motherwell. Mr McMahon, a co-founder of Ayrshire entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital investment business, is chairman of Game4Padel.

Michael Gradon, another co-founder of Game4Padel and the company’s chief executive, was on the board of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which owns and runs the Wimbledon Championships, for many years, stepping down in December 2019.

The other co-founders of Game4Padel are Peter Gordon, a chartered quantity surveyor who has worked for Tennis Scotland and SportScotland and founded the Thistle Padel Club in Edinburgh, and tennis coach Vincent Hivert.