Sleeper, which has raised about $2M in seed funding from Birchmere VC and Expa, and boasts hundreds of thousands of users, calls itself Slack for sports.
It’s essentially an app (and website) that lets sports fans have conversations around different subjects they’re passionate about. These discussions happen in channels – some of which are created by the company and are general topics like fantasy advice, and some are created by users – like an Eagles fan club.
And now they are adding another feature that is sure to make it even more useful for sports fans – fantasy sports. Starting with NFL this season, Sleeper is adding support for season-long fantasy sports right inside its app.
This move makes total sense because season-long fantasy sports, unlike daily fantasy sports, is a very social activity.
Most people play in leagues with friends they have known their whole life – and the social/chat element can be just as important as the actual gameplay. That’s why it doesn’t make sense for casual player to use sites like ESPN or Yahoo fantasy anymore – who wants to make a trade in one app then switch to iMessage or GroupMe when its time to talk to the rest of the league when you can do it all from one place?
So Sleeper’s fantasy product is very focused on social – in fact almost every screen in the app has an embedded chat so you can talk to your league. There’s also a feature to power in-person drafts, which is something important in most serious fantasy sports leagues among friends.
While the fantasy product is just launching, Sleeper as a chat app has been around for a bit and seen some pretty good traction. Users open the app 4-5 times a day and spend 3-5 minutes per session – and on peak game days average users can spend up to 30 minutes in the app talking sports with their friends.
Sleeper’s free NFL fantasy product launches this season, and other sports will roll out later this year. You can download their app on the iOS App Store here and Google Play Store here, or play on the web.
[Update: This article has been edited to reflect that Sleepbot has changed its name to Sleeper.]