The online sports betting industry generated over $1B in revenue in 2020 in the US and that is expected to increase sixfold by 2023 as the legalization of wagering continues to spread throughout the nation. Sports have become an American obsession with sports fandom defining how people view themselves over religious, political, and regional affiliations. However, not all fans are interested in gambling but would like to engage with sports with something on the line. PredictionStrike makes investing in sports accessible with its simulated stock exchange that allows users to buy and sell virtual shares in professional athletes. Share prices are determined by not only supply and demand but also real-time athlete performance. The company plans to give athletes a percentage of their respective market caps to have interests aligned as well as deepen engagement. Technology has forged new possibilities in the athlete-fan relationship and PredictionStrike’s exchange creates a new avenue for fans to monetize their passions AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Deven Hurt to learn more about the Aha moment for the business, the state of sports engagement, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from MaC Venture Capital and New Age Capital.
The Powersports market (jet skis, motorcycles, ATVs, etc) is expected to surpass $50M per annum by 2027. 80% of purchases in this market require financing. Octane is a point-of-sale platform that enables power sport dealers and brands to provide automated financing solutions to their customers to close transactions. The company’s end-to-end platform covers all aspects of the lending process from origination to closing. Initially, a marketplace to connect lenders and purchasers, Octane launched its own lending unit, Roadrunner Financial, in 2016. To support the end-to-end purchase experience for consumers, the startup also operates a number of content destinations that are focused on editorial content for Powersports enthusiasts. Octane is currently working with over 3800 dealers and directly with ~50 brands, supported by a team of 300+ that’s growing fast. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Jason Guss to learn more about the massive opportunity for financing in the Powersports market, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding that comes at a $900M+ valuation from investors that includes Progressive Investment CompanyValar Ventures, Upper90, Contour Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, Third Prime, Parkwood, Gaingels, and ALIVE.
The pandemic has unexpectedly led to an unprecedented boom for sports cards. Whether it’s the boredom of the pandemic or the speculative mentality that fueled the Gamestop run-up, sports cards have become a serious business, with a number of high-value cards trading at all-time highs in the multi-millions. StarStock is a centralized platform structured as a stock market that allows serious and casual collectors to easily purchase and sell their favorite sports cards. Users submit their cards to a repository with StarStock acting as a custodian. Trades of these cards occur on the platform and there is no need to ship the physical card as StarsStruck records the change the ownership similar to settlement for equities. The marketplace is dynamic with prices changing in response to events in the sports world, providing unparalleled liquidity to a previously sparsely-traded market. For this convenience, the company charges a 5% fee taken from the seller’s proceeds. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Scott Greenberg to learn more about the company’s mission to turn sports cards into an investment class, the company’s future plans, and latest round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from several angel investors including NBA all-star Trae Young, Twitch Cofounder Justin Kan, Chief Operating Officer of BetMGM, Ryan Spoon, and Ilkka Paananen, Cofounder of Supercell.
London-based ELEVEN SPORTS, the international sports content provider, has agreed to acquire New York-based Team Whistle, the global sports media and entertainment company. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
As a society, spend so much time trying to get in shape and also spend billions on the latest and greatest when it comes to supplements to enhance fitness regimens. Yet most of these supplements are off-the-shelf solutions that do not take into account an individual’s physiology. Gainful, a personalized sports drink and nutrition company, provides tailored supplements, making pro-level sports nutrition accessible. All of the company’s products are made with natural and organic ingredients like pea protein, brown rice protein, oat powder, coconut oil, monk fruit, green tea extract, and micellar casein, a slow-release protein.
AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and COO Eric Wu to learn more about how his own experience developing supplements led to the formation of Gainful, the experience of fundraising as a first-time founder and recent college graduate, and the company’s Series A funding round from investors that include BrandProject, Courtside VC, AF Ventures, Round13 Capital, Barrel Ventures, and the founder of Polaris Sports.
After an intense workout, downing a bottle of Gatorade may feel refreshing but it’s not doing your body any favors – a 20 oz bottle of Gatorade has 34g of sugar; effectively negating your workout. As wellness continues to gain popularity and influence fitness, dietary habits, and metabolic health, people are increasingly conscious about healthy alternatives to combat hydration and replenish electrolytes. Cure Hydration is the organic, plant-based hydration powder mix that has 4x the electrolytes of popular sports drinks without the added sugar; the company uses natural, organic coconut water as a base. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Lauren Picasso to learn more about how training for a triathlon inspired the company, the company’s experience distributing to essential stores during the pandemic, recent round of funding from investors that include Lerer Hippeau, M3 Ventures, Litani Ventures, Andy Roddick, Nas, Matthew Dellavedova, Philip Krim, Nick Green, and others.
Sports are meant to bring fans together but the pandemic has made our love of sports more isolating with fans now forced to turn to technology platforms to share their passion. Flick, founded by the founders of Fanduel, is the mobile chat and engagement platform built exclusively for sports fans. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder, CEO, and repeat entrepreneur Nigel Eccles to learn how his experience cofounding FanDuel inspired him to build Flick, the company’s experience raising virtually during the pandemic, and recent funding round from investors that include AlleyCorp, Bullpen Capital, Everblue Management, Amity Ventures, and Courtside Ventures
It’s been easy to gain the Covid-15 during the lockdown, and now that things are slowly opening back up, people are looking for new ways to shed the extra pounds that may have accumulated. Caliber is the fitness coaching platform that offers strength training, nutrition guidance, and a personal fitness coach that’s accessible via text and video messaging to keep you on track. By pairing Caliber members with fitness experts, Caliber solves the biggest hurdle in getting into and staying in shape – accountability. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Jared Cluff to learn more about the genesis for the business, how the public’s perception of working out outside of the gym completely flipped, and the company’s recent funding round from investors that include Trinity Ventures and Gaingels.
Millennials are watching less sports than previous generations. Bo Han, a former Twitter employee, is building Buzzer to make sports more accessible and flexible for sports fans, when and how they want it. The platform delivers what’s dubbed as “short-form live” content that allows fans to leverage their existing subscriptions or through nominal micropayments to view live games. Han was kind enough to join us to share more about the experience of fundraising during a time there were no live sports, his offer to return capital to investors during the pandemic in the wake of uncertainty, the company’s future plans, and recent round from notable investors that include Lerer Hippeau, Sapphire Sport, R&R Venture Partners, Imagination Captial, Anthony Noto, Richard Parsons, and Grace Kim.
Despite the pandemic halting sports, fans have a new outlet with ThriveFantasy when the action resumes. This daily fantasy sports platform democratizes fantasy sports and is designed for the casual user who wants to be more engaged with sports. Rather than drafting a traditional fantasy lineup, users can pick over/unders from the top tier athletes […]
Lululemon, the Vancouver-based athleisure company, has agreed to acquire NYC-based Mirror, the connect fitness system for $500M in an all-cash transaction.