FloSports, an innovator in live digital sports and original content, today announced the close of its Series C funding round with $47 million raised to expand and enhance coverage in new and existing sports. Led by current investor Discovery Inc., the round also included participation from existing FloSports financial investors Causeway Media Partners, LP, Fertitta Capital, and DCM Ventures, as well as strategic investors World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments. This follows a first quarter in which FloSports grew both subscribers and annual recurring revenue by more than 50% year over year.
“We are excited to continue building on the momentum of our recent strong growth, including our best quarter ever,” FloSports CEO & Co-Founder Mark Floreani said. “With this new round of funding from our investors, we will further enrich underserved sports communities by broadening our existing coverage and expanding into new verticals.”
“We are big believers in the consumer appeal of OTT verticals like FloSports to serve passionate communities and fans,” said Bruce Campbell, Chief Development, Distribution and Legal Officer, Discovery, Inc. “FloSports aligns nicely with Discovery’s global direct-to-consumer strategy and provides us with opportunities to apply learnings to our own OTT products. We’re excited to deepen our participation in this growth and innovation story.”
Since inception in 2006, FloSports has been a leader and innovator in the over-the-top (OTT) space, differentiating itself from other sports media companies by offering a direct-to-consumer solution for underserved leagues, governing bodies and independent rights holders to better monetize their events.
The evolution of this strategy is producing pivotal growth for FloSports in 2019 YTD. Net subscriber growth through the first quarter was greater than all of 2018. Proceeds from the Series C funding will be used toward continued investment in rights in middle- and long-tail partnerships.
“We are excited to continue our support for FloSports with this third investment by our fund,” said Mark Wan, Managing Director, Causeway Media Partners, LP. “The team continues to build the next-generation sports media company we envisioned when we made our initial investment in 2014. This new round strongly positions the company to continue the growth of the FloSports portfolio in a way that provides the best experience to sports fans and value to rights holders.”
As a provider of in-depth coverage across 25 sports that broadcast more than 10,000 live events annually, FloSports continues to add rights and develop new verticals. Following a year in which FloSports inked more than 250 new or extended rights deals, the company began 2019 by entering more than 55 new or extended rights deals in Q1, including the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), for which FloSports will serve as the primary media partner to provide live and on-demand coverage of more than 300 games annually, CONCACAF, Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), United World Wrestling, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), Atlantic Hockey, Hockey East, the German Bundesliga, and Eurosport.
“While live events are the center of our offering, original programming is a cornerstone—we’re committed to providing our subscribers with engaging content out of season,” Floreani said. Currently, FloSports offers a growing library of more than 2,000 hours of premium content, including weekly studio shows, technique videos with Olympians and world champions, professional athlete features, and original films. In the past year, FloSports increased the number of premium minutes watched by subscribers by 120%.”
“As we continue to build a highly engaged audience, advertisers show increased interest in our unduplicated, passionate, digital-first communities,” Floreani said, “We are excited to further invest in new monetization opportunities around advertising.”
Sports fans can access live and on-demand coverage of exclusive content and events by becoming a monthly or annual PRO subscriber. Either subscription unlocks access to premium content across the entire FloSports network and fans can watch across all screens by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Roku, or Apple TV 4.