Investors Swing For The Fences With $1B In Sports Tech Deals

Investors Swing For The Fences With $1B In Sports Tech Deals

Editor’s Note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article by Christine Magee.

From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, technology is transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams.

With all of this momentum VCs are swinging for the fences. Investors have spent over $1 billion in venture deals for sports-related startups over the past year — and everyone wants in on the action.

Last week, the LA Dodgers launched the Dodgers Accelerator, a 12-week program in partnership with R/GA that will kick off this summer. They’re looking for startups “at the intersection of sports, technology and entertainment” — an intentionally ambiguous definition, according to Stephen Plumlee, Managing Partner of R/GA Ventures.

“That includes everything from fan engagement, to smart venues, to sports performance, to youth sports. And things like VR content and virtual season tickets, too,” says Plumlee.

The technology the Dodgers use is by no means revolutionary from a Silicon Valley perspective. Until now, the team’s technological claim to fame was installing MLB’s largest wi-fi system in Dodger Stadium for the 2013 season.

Now they’re looking to position themselves at the forefront of sports tech innovation through the accelerator program; which Dodgers CFO Tucker Kain says the club decided to launch after noticing an influx of capital and activity in the space.

The numbers back him up. Venture funding for sports tech startups hit an all-time high of $927 million in 2014, growing nearly 30% year over year since 2012. In the first few weeks of April alone, investors committed $151 million in venture funding for sports tech companies — that’s over half the quarterly funding high of $299 million, recorded in Q3 of last year.

Continue reading

Birthday 1.0 for CrunchBase 2.0

Just a year ago today, the small but wonderful CrunchBase team flipped the switch to launch CrunchBase 2.0, an entirely new front end built on fancy new graph technology to power the world’s definitive, crowd-sourced startup database.

Things were a bit shakey at first, but we got the new platform stabilized and then started to move forward again, earning some bragging rights along the way. Here are some highlights:

  • On the product front, have released over 100 updates to the platform, including the Investor Leaderboard, Graph Insights, Follow and Events — not to mention powering the TechCruch Battlefield Leaderboard.
  • We now consistently see 1 million user sessions per week, and in the past year we saw almost 20 million unique visitors to the site. Audience engagement is growing at 35% year-on-year.
  • Our popular email, Crunchbase Daily, has grown 85% and now reaches 175,000 confirmed readers.
  • The number of people, companies and products in CrunchBase grew 46% and will surpass 800,000 soon. In the past year, 81,000 individual contributors and partners have updated close to 300,000 entities.
  • Our CrunchBase Venture Program has grown 80% and now has 1,500 members. 

That was really fun, but the year ahead will be only better.  In the next quarter alone, we have a line-up of new products and enhancements coming that will be more valuable to the startup community than all we have done to date.

 

Startup Calendar for April 21st

                           
Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Startup Calendar for April 14th

                           
Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Got Exits? Get Them In CrunchBase

Got Exits? Get Them In CrunchBase

This month’s focus for CrunchBase Venture Program members is exits. We want to make sure CrunchBase has all the exits in your portfolio, which is why we sent each of the 1500 Venture program members a list of their exits to date in CrunchBase. Check out the list and let us know what’s missing — or go to CrunchBase and add them yourself.

On a related note, check out our Investor Leaderboard, where you can track exits by region, see the top performing firms, and dive into the details.

If you are not a member of the Venture Program, we would love to have you. Please sign up here.

And here’s a big welcome to the firms who have recently signed up.

Venture Capital
AVentures Capital – Kyiv, Ukraine
Battery Ventures – Menlo Park, California USA
Blue Swell Capital, LLC – San Francisco, California USA
cabiedes & partners SCR – Madrid, Spain
DoubleRock Venture Capital – Menlo Park, California USA
Energy Foundry – Chicago, Illinois USA
Fresco Capital – Hong Kong, China
HOF Capital – New York, NY USA
Imprimatur Capital Fund Management – London, UK
Isocline Ventures – Charleston, South Carolina USA
Ivy Capital – Shanghai, China
Lerer Hippeau – New York, NY USA
Lightspeed China Partners – Shanghai, China
New Leaf Venture Partners – New York, NY USA
OpenView Venture Partners – Boston, Massachusetts USA
Outlines Venture Group – Seattle, Washington USA
Peterson Ventures – Salt Lake City, Utah USA
Rubicon Venture Capital – San Francisco, California USA
Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners – Tampa, Florida USA
SV Life Sciences – Boston, Massachusetts USA
Talis Equity LLC – Medina, NY USA
Tamarisc – Irvine, California USA
Technology Crossover Ventures – Palo Alto, California USA
University Venture Fund – Salt Lake City, Utah USA
Vast Ventures – New York, NY USA

Accelerators
Betateam – Santa Monica, California USA
Building Global Innovators – Lisbon, Portugal
Code RGV – Mcallen, Texas USA
Oasis500 – Amman, Jordan
Startup Studio Monterrey – Monterrey, Mexico
Venture Greenhouse 2.0 – San Rafael, California USA

Angel Groups
AngelsCube Limited – London, UK
Angelvest – Shanghai, China
Barelli Brothers – New York, NY USA
Team in Residence – San Francisco, California USA
Uprising UK – San Francisco, California USA

Co-Working Space
CoCo LLC – Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

Corporate Venture Capital
American Family Ventures – Madison, Wisconsin USA
Credit Suisse – Zürich, Switzerland
EMC Ventures – Palo Alto, California USA
FCP Emprendimiento e Innovación – Medellín, Colombia
FKA – Cambridge, Massachusetts USA
kbs+ Ventures – New York, NY USA

Family Investment Office
Evans Hagen & Company – Westport, Connecticut USA
Familie Graef Holding GmbH – Hürth, Germany
Farzad Nazem & Noosheen Hashemi Living Trust – Palo Alto, California USA
Grace Beauty Capital – New York, NY USA
Prairie Ventures – Omaha, Nebraska USA
Stonewood Investors – Hong Kong, China
Tarsadia Investments – Newport Beach, California USA
Westlake International Group – San Mateo, California USA

Incubator
Zuma Ventures – Santa Monica, California USA

Micro-VC
aurinvest – Paris, France
boldstart ventures – New York, NY USA
CommonAngels Ventures – Cambridge, Massachusetts USA
DS Strategic Partners – Tel Aviv, Israel
LAUNCHUB – Sofia, Bulgaria
London Bridge Ventures – London, UK
The Vedas Group – New York, NY USA

Private Equity
M/C Partners – Boston, Massachusetts USA
Rocket and Sons Investment Corp. – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Sunrise Capital Partners – New York, NY USA

University Program
NYU Entrepreneurial Institute – New York, NY USA

Photo Credit: Craig Sunter, Flickr

Startup Calendar for April 7th

                                 
Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

New Accelerator Programs Announced for 2015

New Accelerator Programs Announced for 2015

CrunchBase currently lists over 400 accelerators worldwide, from Silicon Valley veterans to pioneers in Israel and New Zealand, and we are continuing to add more every day.

Pope Francis made his debut in the venture scene last month with the launch of Scholas.Labs, an ed-tech accelerator focused on on improving the quality of global education. The program is backed by tech giants such as Google, Microsoft and IBM and will support ten projects a year.

Microsoft Ventures, a familiar face in the accelerator space with seven programs worldwide, is building out its presence in India after launching in Bangalore two years ago. Its two latest programs, Accelerator Plus and Scale Up, are designed to help more mature startups lock down follow-on funding and scale their companies. Startups who have graduated from previous Microsoft Accelerator programs are still eligible to apply for these cohorts.

Even the Department of Homeland Security has jumped the accelerator bandwagon this month with the launch of Emerge, a new accelerator in partnership with Tech Wildcatters and TechNexus. The program is geared toward developing wearable tech for first responders, from advanced sensors to integrated gear.

SPRING is a business accelerator built around the “girl effect” — the idea that girls are the most powerful force for change on the planet. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, SPRING is looking for entrepreneurs who are developing innovative technologies to improve access to education, healthcare, financial services and other necessities for girls. The program was created in partnership with the Nike Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the UK’s Department for International Develop (DFID).

Other newly launched accelerators include:

Startup Calendar for March 31st

              1          2         3
 

Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Startup Calendar for March 24th

              
 

Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Startup Calendar for March 17th

              
Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!