FloSports, a direct-to-consumer streamer of live digital sports and original content, has raised a $47 million Series C led by Discovery Inc. The smaller company focuses on “underserved sports communities.” Specifically, FloSports provides “in-depth coverage” across 25 sports such as hockey, wrestling and volleyball that broadcast more than 10,000 live events annually.
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It also has developed original programming, and currently has a library of more than 2,000 hours of content such as weekly studio shows, technique videos and original films.
The Austin-based company said in a release that it plans to use the new capital “to expand and enhance coverage in new and existing sports” as well as form new partnerships. Other existing backers including Causeway Media Partners, Fertitta Capital, and DCM Ventures. Strategic investors World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments also participated in the investment. In total, FloSports has raised $79.2 million since it was founded 13 years ago, according to its Crunchbase profile.
The financing comes on the heels of a first quarter that CEO and co-founder Mark Floreani described as the company’s “best” ever. During the three-month period, FloSports grew both subscribers and annual recurring revenue by more than 50 percent year-over-year, the company said. Net subscriber growth during the quarter was greater than all of 2018, according to the company.
FloSports CFO Pat Noonan told me via telephone this morning that the company currently has “several hundred thousand active paying subscribers” and has a goal of surpassing a few million subscribers over the next five years.
“There’s a huge opportunity here and we believe we’re just at the tip of the iceberg,” said Noonan, a former associate at Austin Ventures.
FloSports was founded in 2006 and classifies itself as operating in the over-the-top (OTT) space. (OTT companies basically deliver film and content via the internet as opposed to traditional channels such as television.) FloSports claims to have differentiated itself from other sports media companies “by offering a direct-to-consumer solution for underserved leagues, governing bodies and independent rights holders to better monetize their events.” It currently has 250 employees.
The company offers monthly and annual subscription packages that are at a price point that is higher than other similar offerings, Noonan said.
“Our customers are willing to pay $30 for a monthly package and that’s a true testament to what we’re building,” he told Crunchbase News. “It also means our niche content vertical strategy is working. When people have passions, they run pretty deep.”
Causeway Media Partners Managing Director Mark Wan noted in the release that the investment marks his firm’s third in FloSports.
“The team continues to build the next-generation sports media company we envisioned when we made our initial investment in 2014,” he said.
Another OTT company, Overtime, raised a $23 million Series B earlier this year. That company describes itself as a distributed sports network that offers its programming via a variety of channels including Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat as well as on television and through its own app and website. Backers include a host of NBA players as well as Spark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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