London-based Sport Buff, a company that specialises in gamification and on-screen engagement, announced on Monday that it has raised $2.5M (approximately €2.5M) in a Seed round of funding. The announcement comes a year after the company raised its pre-seed funding in February 2021.
The investment comes from a list of fresh investors, including Sport Republic (UK), Longboard Capital (US), Calvert Drive (NZ), and Intrepid Ventures (CY). Matthew Benham, owner of English Premier League club, Brentford FC, and other individuals also made personal investments.
Benn Achilleas, Founder and CEO, says, “This investment round is a huge endorsement for our product, delivery, and vision and will drive the next big steps in our development.”
He adds, “It brings significant funding combined with the huge experience, valuable connections, and excellent advice of investors, which will help us to scale up, reach new partners and deliver for viewers, brands, and broadcasters.”
Henrik Kraft, Chairman & Co-Founder of Sport Republic, says, “Our investment in Sport Buff at this early stage is a testament not only to our belief in the business, its leadership, and its delivery but the opportunity they can bring across our businesses and to the global sports and broadcast industry.”
Sport Buff: What you need to know
Founded in 2019 by tech entrepreneur Benn Achilleas and Jonty Whitehead, Sport Buff uses graphics to fit the original coverage and broadcasting layouts to give viewers extra information, engagement, and interaction. It includes posts, polls, and quizzes.
The company says it aims to enhance the viewer experience.
The UK company claims that broadcasters who use its platform have witnessed an increase in viewing time, captured valuable data and drove greater engagement with their viewers.
The platform also claims to help create new on-screen sponsorship assets, helping them to better engage, retain and monetise their audience.
The UK company has already worked with a range of sports rights holders and broadcasters, including MLS (Major League Soccer), FIBA, and DAZN on Basketball Champions League, FOX Sports and NRL (Rugby League), Caracol TV [Colombia], and KAN [Israel], across a range of platforms, including Web OTT, Android, and iOS, as well as Twitch and YouTube.
Achilleas adds, “Sport Buff works for rights holders, broadcasters, and consumers as viewers are proven to play and stay with the coverage, then come back for more. As a result, we’re changing the way the world watches sport. We have significant global deals, with broadcasters and rights holders, both in place and in the pipeline, and we’ve continued to grow our capabilities through important hires in the UK, Europe, North America, and the Middle East.”
Sport Republic is a London-based investment firm in the sports and entertainment industry. The company’s vision is to grow high-potential sports businesses and sports technology companies.
Henrik Kraft says, “The global sports market is worth over $50B in media rights and $200B in betting revenues alone. It needs ways to increase engagement, build audiences and create fresh commercial opportunities – especially with next-generation audiences – and Sport Buff can deliver all three. So whilst this summer has seen challenging conditions for investment, when the right business and opportunity presents itself, there will always be strong interest.”