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Overtime Raises $23M Series B Fueled By Andreessen Horowitz And NBA Players

Digital sports media startup Overtime has raised $23 million in a Series B round of funding led by Spark Capital.

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Founded in late 2016 by Dan Porter and Zack Weiner, the Brooklyn company has raised a total of $35.3 million. Existing investor Andreessen Horowitz participated in the latest round via its new Cultural Leadership Fund. Other repeat previous investors include Afore Capital and  Correlation Ventures.   Sapphire Ventures, which put money in via its new “Sapphire Sport” investment vehicle, also participated in the round in addition to a crew of NBA players such as Carmelo Anthony, Victor Oladipo, and Baron Davis. Golden State Warriors Player Kevin Durant and former NBA commissioner David Stern have also backed the firm.

The company describes itself as a distributed sports network that offers its programming via a variety of channels including Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat as well as on television and through its own app and website.

Its short-form programming focuses on high school athletes who play basketball and football, offering them a platform “to tell their stories.” Over the past year, the startup has expanded its sports coverage to include soccer, football, and esports. And last week, the company launched its first women’s sports vertical, OvertimeWBB. Paid contributors attend games and upload highlights in real-time from their mobile phones using an Overtime-created app. The company’s mission is to “create the next great sports network” by appealing to a Gen Z audience it says has been elusive to legacy sports networks.

According to a company spokesperson, the company’s videos are viewed more than 550 million times each month, up from 112 million views in January 2018. Overtime has reached “seven-figure revenue” numbers while headcount has climbed to 55 from 18 a year ago, according to a company spokesperson.

Michael Spirito, managing director of Sapphire Ventures and co-founder of Sapphire Sport, said he believes Overtime “uniquely serves the needs of consumers and major stakeholders alike across the global sport and media landscape.”

“They are not simply creating a next-generation media company; they are creating resonant, globally relevant content and stories specifically produced for next-generation consumers while providing brands, media companies, leagues, and teams opportunities to better connect to the fans, viewers, and voices they covet,” he wrote via email.

Overtime plans to use the funding to expand its team, and do more “live activations,” according to Porter. “Expect to see more merch collabs, more commerce and more shows to rival a traditional network. And expect us to go global, pushing Overtime into Europe, Asia and Africa,” he added in a blog post.

This is not Porter’s first experience with a startup. He sold his previous company OMGPop to gaming company Zynga in 2012 for $200 million. After leaving Zynga, he was hired by William Morris Endeavor (WME) to oversee its digital efforts. Meanwhile, Weiner was the founder of The Sports Quotient, a platform for college students to write about sports.

Overtime initially started as a different sports-focused project within WME. But in late 2016, Porter and Weiner left WME and established it as a standalone company.

Overtime has a diversified revenue model. According to the company, it makes money from ads on its videos. It’s also generating revenue from a growing e-commerce business.

iStockPhoto / jamieroach