Cape Town sports startup raises $100k from US-based accelerator

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South African sports-tech startup Fancam is one of six startups selected to take part in the accelerator programme run by St Louis-based venture capital firm Stadia Ventures, securing access to mentoring and US$100,000 in funding.

Stadia Ventures is an early-stage, sports- and esports-focused venture capital firm which has invested in 30 companies since 2015 and had three exits to Ticketmaster, FLIR Systems and Blast Motion.

The Stadia Ventures Sports Accelerator helps sports and esports startups develop by offering them equity investment of US$100,000, mentoring, and connections to the top sports and esports business executives in the United States.

The Cape Town-based Fancam has been chosen alongside five other companies to take part in the Spring 2019 cohort of the accelerator, which is the programme’s eighth edition. The startup has developed an analytics platform that uses ultra-resolution imagery and computer vision to let sports teams apply demographic data from pictures to increase their sponsorship retention and provide a better in-stadium fan experience.

As part of the 14-week programme, each team will fly to St. Louis every other week for three-day sessions, which will consist of executive-level mentoring, top tier guest speakers from across the sports and esports industries, and networking with the St. Louis business, investor, sports and esports communities.

“Every six months, we begin our search yet again for the best sports and esports startups in the world, and this spring, we were simply blown away by the breadth and depth of quality in the applicants,” said Tim Hayden, co-founder and managing director of Stadia Ventures. “Because of that, we had the most competitive selection process yet. So, the fact that these six remain today truly speaks to their previous traction and future potential.”

Startups from more than 40 countries applied for the accelerator, with 10 finalists taking part in a pitch day in St. Louis in late January prior to the selection of the final six. The other companies taking part are Israeli cognitive training platform Applied Cognitive Engineering (ACE), and US-based companies Boost Technology, GoWild, Pledge It, and Wearable.X.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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