Africa’s sports industry is not at a standstill. In fact, it is now more promising than it has ever been. But in spite of being a proven force which provides employment opportunities for the development of the continent’s economy and the improvement of individuals, the role of sports in Africa is still under-realized. The means have not been used to their full potential, like it is in the rest of the world. Electronic sports – esports – have pain put to its promising move and explosion by the reproach of video game publishers.
In an industry that has seemingly been quiet regarding investments for a while, South Africa-based sports tech startup Fancam raised USD 100 K from St. Louis-based Stadia Ventures. The financial development came in the wake of the investor – an early-stage sport and esports-focused venture capital firm – selecting six startups to participate in its Spring 2019 accelerator program. The firm has so far invested in 20 companies since its inception in 2015.
Stadia Ventures will help the six shortlisted startups to develop while mentoring and affording them connections to the high ranking esports business executives in the United States. Fancam receives the selection with hopes that it will help better the operations in the firm. The sports-tech told WeeTracker that: “Our CEO Tinus Le Roux, will be moving to the US to take advantage of the momentum and accelerate further growth.”
According to Fancam, being selected to take part in Stadia Ventures’ accelerator program depicts is validation and latches it on to becoming part of a strong network. “The selection process incorporates detailed input from more than 150 sports industry specialists, so the fact that the ‘industry has spoken’ is great encouragement as well as validation of our product and team”. Presently, Fancam focuses on working with its MLV clients including Braves, Twins, Blue Jays, and Cardinals to assist them in understanding their crowds better.
The tech startup employs crown intelligence to develop an analytics platform using ultra-resolution imagery and computer visions to help sports teams apply demographic data from pictures to increase their sponsorship and provide in-stadium fan experience. The firm has been active in the sports market for eight years, and given the quality of the mentorship program and the network supporting it, we do foresee some changes and acceleration in the near future.
Fancam says the recent fundraise is unlikely to be followed by another anytime soon. “Currently our sales pipeline looks strong enough that we won’t need to, but if the right strategic partner comes along, we will most definitely be open to exploring. There are some very exciting opportunities in the Crowd Intelligence space”.