Youth sports are an integral part of our communities, bringing families together and helping kids all over gain confidence and skills.
Most of us don’t think about all the work that goes into setting up, growing and maintaining these leagues. It’s a lot. Today, LeagueApps, which aims to be the operating system for youth sports organizations, announced it has raised $15 million in a Series B round of funding.
Existing investor Contour Venture Partners led the financing, which brings to $35 million the company’s total funding since its 2010 inception. Major League Baseball and Elysian Park Ventures, the private investment arm of the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers, also participated in the round.
A slew of new and existing backers also put money in the round, including Olympic gold medalists Julie Foudy and Swin Cash; NFL veteran Derrick Dockery; Peter J. Holt, chairman of Spurs Sports & Entertainment; Laura Dixon, founder and president of PRO Sports Assembly; and investment management firm Hamilton Lane.
The New York-based company is working to help youth sports organizations, well, be better organized. It has developed registration and management software so that leaders of these sports organizations can better manage the process of running the leagues, communicate more effectively and collect payment more efficiently.
“We’ve built all the tools they need to power their programs,” said Brian Litvack, LeagueApps CEO and co-founder. Those tools include giving these leaders the means to do things like build a website, accept registrations, send messages to coaches and parents and help them share information with governing bodies or associations.
“Local sports organizers have an important role in the community to make sure that sports happens,” Litvack said.
Rather than charging for its software, it charges a small fee upfront and then takes a percentage of any transactions that are conducted via its platform. So if its users don’t get paid, it doesn’t get paid.
That means the company, like many others, took a bit of a hit when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. But it’s since rebounded, and then some.
In the spring of 2021, the platform crossed the $2 billion in transactions-processed mark, doubling the $1 billion mark it reached in the summer of 2019. From 2016 to 2019, LeagueApps saw 275% revenue growth. Today, more than 3,000 sports organizations use LeagueApps as their operating system.
The company projects that it will process more than 4 million sports registrations in 2021.
In addition to its flagship software, the company’s NextUp platform is designed to provide organizers with opportunities for leadership development and networking. It also runs FundPlay, a philanthropic program focused on sports-based youth development programs in underserved communities.
As a parent with children playing sports, Contour Ventures’ Matt Gorin said he was drawn to invest in LeagueApps. In his view, the company is tackling a “large yet fragmented” market.
“I have seen firsthand just how important youth sports experiences, and the organizations that provide them, are to kids, families and communities,” he said. “LeagueApps is unique in so many ways, particularly regarding its unparalleled approach and commitment to combining technology, community, customer service and impact for the maturing youth sports market.”
LeagueApps plans to use its new capital mainly to invest in product and engineering so that it can “provide more solutions” to youth sports organizations.