London startup 365Scores, which offers a fully localised mobile app to keep sports fans in the loop, has scored a funding round of its own. It’s raised $5.5 million from Russia’s LETA Capital, Cedar Fund, Alexander Ayvazov’s Titanium Investments, and a number of unnamed private investors — adding to the previous $1.2 million Series A round raised in January last year.
Offering apps for iOS and Android — the latter of which has just hit the 5 million download mark — 365Scores competes with major brands such as ESPN Sports Center, Yahoo Sports, and CBS Sports, in addition to a number of startups playing in the same space, such as Fanatix, to name but one.
The app lets users follow their favorite teams, athletes, and sports on mobile and get live push notifications — 2 billion have been sent so far in aggregate — to keep them up-to-date with the important moments in a game, and serves news, scores, and photo and video updates. It also pulls in news and updates from local sports news outlets and social media.
As you’d expect, there’s a (recently introduced) social aspect of its own, too, dubbed a “Virtual Stadium,” it enables fans around the world to converse. The idea is to encourage users to socialise via the app during and after a game or other sporting event, and to talk smack over team line-ups, the play in action and, of course, the result. Bolstering those social features is one of the things 365Scores says it will invest in with today’s new funding round.
However, it’s the startup’s specific emphasis on being global from the get-go that is perhaps most noteworthy and has seen the app localised in 20 languages. That’s also how 365Scores is planning (and executing) to compete with those major, rather English speaking-centric, sports media brands.
On the topic of revenue model — the app is free to download — 365Scores tells me the startup is focused on building a mass market audience first and will eventually introduce “advertising, sponsored content and e-commerce on a select basis.”