Earlier this week, two members of our family, FanVision and PrePlay announced that they have merged. While a move of this sort sounds pretty typical in day-to-day VC world, it is one of the more significant things to happen in the sport and gaming space in a while.
Back in 2010, Steve Ross saw the potential in FanVision and how it could meaningfully enhance the in-stadium fan experience, telling The New York Times, “I saw potential in it; I saw it had been used in Nascar and golf and F1 racing, and I felt we could make it a better experience.”
Fast-forward to present day, the in-venue technology and content provider has been used at professional sporting events across the world. It is the most ubiquitous technology in the NASCAR™ world, used by both the fans and professionals working the races.
PrePlay develops live, mobile games that enable fans to predict events in real time. We met Andrew Daines, the founder and CEO of PrePlay, several years ago and soon after, PrePlay became one of our first investments. Impressed with the quality of the product and the team he has built, it came as no surprise to us that he built up a prominent client base including MLB.com, the NHL and the US Open Tennis Tournament.
The reality is that the merger was a natural development. Both companies leverage unique intellectual property to provide exclusive content that ultimately enhances the fan experience. Both companies saw the innovative future that fan technology and gaming have. Both companies knew what coming together would bring. Creating one powerful leader that will offer unparalleled service and experience for fans, clients, partners and sporting professionals across the globe seemed like a no-brainer.
So our New York office just got a little louder and a little more exciting. On top of all the other awesome chaos we have going on, we now get to observe how these companies will work together and take sports technology and the fan experience to the next level.