Fanatix, the U.K. startup that’s made a mobile-first social network for sports fans to chew over their team’s performance as and after they watch them play, has bolstered its seed round with another $1 million, from a series of undisclosed UK-based Angels. The additional funding brings its total raised to $3 million to date.
The new financing follows a greater than expected bump in its monthly active user numbers which have risen from 150,000 to one million monthly actives since the start of the year — up 566% since January.
Fanatix launched its service back in October 2011. It says it’s seeing particular traction among 13- to 24-year-old males — a prime advertising demographic. Founder and CEO Will Muirhead tells TechCrunch the service is adding 30,000 users per day, with younger users apparently using the app up to 10 times a day.
Fanatix offers fans a personalised stream of sports content via its app and web platform, including pulling in tweets, videos, Instagram photos and content from relevant sports blogs. It also offers a group chat feature (called a Huddle) where fans can swap banter and share content. “We have deals with sports rights holders for much of the video content and partnerships in place with many sports blogs for the ‘fan opinion’. In addition, we pull in feeds from Instagram (great stuff here), YouTube, Facebook and Twitter,” explains Muirhead.
The startup is targeting its service as both a second screen experience for use during sports events but also chasing the long tail of sports fandom, with more evergreen content and features aimed at encouraging fans to check in more than just at match time.
The new funding will be used to expand the reach of its apps from iOS to Android, and for further development of the platform, says Muirhead: “We’re using the funds to continue to develop the platform, adding more social features and rolling out onto Android and HTML5.”
Fanatix is free for the sports fans to use and is monetizing via native ads. “We’ve been trafficking Instagrams, tweets and YouTube videos from sponsors into the fanatix Feed,” notes Muirhead. “Click through rates are 10x better than conventional 320×50 banners. Sponsors love it. We’re on a run rate of $100k per month.”