Just Raised- 03/01/2022
By Alan Soclof
3 BIG STORIES
1. The Next Sportradar
WSC Sports is the industry leader in AI-driven sports highlights and recently raised a $100M Series D.
The company has over 200 clients including the NBA, NHL, ESPN, Bleacher Report, and many more. In 2021 the company made more than 3.4M highlights using its AI-based platform.
How big do I think WSC can become?
WSC Sports is going to be a giant.
In the modern world we live in, many don’t have the patience to sit through full games, making highlights hotter than ever.
Check out this Axios survey breaking down the percentage of NFL fans who would rather watch highlights than live games (by age):
- 18-34: 48%
- 35-49: 20%
- 50+: 11%
I expect WSC Sports to have a similar fortune to Sportradar, the leading sports data provider, that IPO’d at an $8B valuation last year.
Sportradar developed the best stat-tracking AI technology and started working with all of the top sports leagues. From there they looked to leverage their relationships and create ancillary revenue streams around sports gambling, TV streaming, marketing tools and more.
Prediction: The $100M funding round will help take WSC from a highlight AI to a large sports conglomerate.
2. Clickatell – the Real Kings of Checkout
Clickatell, a global leader in chat commerce, announced a $91M Series C in a round led by Arrowroot Capital.
Clickatell’s software enables customers to make direct purchases within a customer service chat window. The technology is awesome and you can take a look here.
Here are some of Clickatell’s key stats:
- Processed more than 30B interactions and 2B commerce transactions (since COVID began)
- 10K customers including Coca Cola, Deloitte, Visa, Zipcar, and other big corporations
- Launched chat banking solution embedded in Whatsapp
I think that Clickatell will be acquired over the next couple of years. But by who?
Bolt is on a mission to create a seamless, one-click checkout experience across the web. The process is more simple than the current one many of us use to check out, however, it still has a ways to go.
Clickatell, on the other hand, does not. In many ways, I feel that Clickatell is the one that deserves the $355M Series E which Bolt raised in January, and not the other way around.
After this massive raise, Bolt has the funds to go after Clickatell and gain a serious leg up to their competitor Fast.
Another interesting fact about Clickatell: it’s delivered double-digit profitable growth for the past several years. Profitability within the VC world is rare, and I absolutely love it. Clickatell could have easily raised more money, but when you have millions in profit rolling in, less cash is needed, keeping investors and founders happy with limited dilution of equity.
Bolt should acquire Clickatell, but Clickatell might want to continue going for it on their own—and I don’t blame them.
3. Adapting to the Future of Gaming
AddApptr, a leading mobile ad tech company, announced a $60M investment from the Atonic Group.
AddApptr provides games and apps with cutting-edge advertising tools. The Hamburg, Germany-based company currently has 100M MAUs through their SDKs.
How good is AddApptr’s tech? StepsApp, a fitness app with over 3.8M MAUs, saw their revenue increase by 178% after just 6 months on the platform. AddApptr is a great company, but the real story here is with Atonic.
The valuations of gaming studios are off the charts, and consolidation is happening quickly.
In 2022 alone there have been two significant acquisitions in this space:
- Microsoft acquiring Activision for $69B
- TakeTwo buying Zynga for $12.7B
I expect this trend to move toward mobile gaming due to the amount of time that we spend (and will continue to spend) on our mobile devices.
Atonic Group looks to take significant stakes in various mobile app gaming studios and have dedicated $100M to funding this endeavor.
They Announced investments in TutoTUNES and AddAppter, and said they’re close to announcing the closing of 3 other gaming studios.
So that’s 4 gaming studios (for now) and one advertisement company. I think it’s fascinating that an investment in an ad company is this high on the priority list.
The formula is simple: keep content costs low, ad revenues high, and watch the valuation soar.
The sum of all parts components for Atonic will also be significant, and in an industry with massive consolidation, their leverage will be real.
Prediction: Five years from now, AddApptr will be acquired for multiples greater than the $100M they are investing.
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PitchDeck: Click Here
Contact Info: CEO Julie Griggs
Email: [email protected]
Linkedin: Julie Griggs
What Do They Do: Mobile-first social network where single friends team up, create a shared profile, and match with other pairs of single friends—because double dating is the more fun, lower pressure, and safer way for people to meet.
How Much Are They Raising: $1,000,000 (already raised $200,000 and expected to close round in April)
- 4000 MAUs, 22,000 matches
- 10,000 waitlist
- Only launched in NY, with plans to launch in LA soon
- Featured in Insider, New York Post, Bustle, and more
- In my conversation with Danielle and Julie, I was blown away by their passion and dedication to their business. They literally spend their weekends advertising their service on the street corners of NYC. I love it.
- They have an impressive built-in user growth model. When a friend signs up, they need to get a second friend to onboard to participate in the app in order to double date, meaning there is a built-in referral system. Love it.
CHART OF THE DAY
- CVC refers to massive companies like Alphabet and Microsoft creating venture arms
- As you can see, 1H21 was a record half-year with 2,099 deals done and $79B in capital invested
- Why are they on fire?
- Massive excess capital for tech giants
- Leveraging industry expertise
- Strategic advantages of equity ownership in possible competitors
WHO JUST RAISED?
What They Do: Database that contains information on middle-market companies
Amount Raised: $25M Series A
Lead Investors: Craft Ventures
Why It Matters:
Grata wants to become the Pitchbook and Crunchbase of the middle market. The middle market makes up 50% of the US GDP and is in many ways the heart and soul of the economy.
Grata uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, and web scraping to put their database together. The company is on fire with millions in revenue, and grows 20% month over month.
I think Grata will be very successful and could lead to a whole lot more disclosure from private companies regarding financial information. It will become clear that more available information leads to more deals, and more money for everyone.
What They Do: Intelligent sales engagement platform
Amount Raised: $22M Series C
Lead Investors: Bertelsmann India
Why It Matters:
Vymo is specifically focuses on financial institutions and they are on fire. Here are some key facts:
- 20% Q/Q growth
- 142% NRR
- Zero log churn
- US launch and securing Berkshire Hathaway as a client
Sales team management and coaching platforms are one of the hottest industries in VC currently. Another company that I am following closely in this space is Craft Ventures backed Atrium, who raised a $20M Series A in late January.
What They Do: Checkout to delivery management platform for e-commerce businesses
Amount Raised: $6M seed round
Lead Investors: TLV Partners
Why It Matters:
At first glance, the name itself warranted a shoutout, but after digging in, the company definitely does too.
PrettyDamnQuick gives serious and unique tools to Shopify store owners like:
- Personalized delivery time and dates for each customer
- A feature that shows cheapest and fastest courier options
These tools lead to a 70% decrease in operational costs, deliveries in ~2 days, and 99% efficiency rate. Beast.
With Shopify businesses exploding with over 2M online stores, PrettyDamnQuick has a massive opportunity and ability to serve them all.
Keep an eye out because this company might get pretty damn big—quick.
What They Do: Use synthetic biology to create tastier, more environmentally friendly fats for fake meat/dairy products
Amount Raised: $3.9M seed round
Lead Investors: Essential Capital
Why It Matters:
In many meat/dairy alternatives, coconut oil is the main fat used, and there are two main problems with that:
- Low melting point, so the oil melts while the product is being cooked
- Production of coconut oil is a major cause of deforestation in Southeast Asia
This is Yali Bio’s opportunity. If the company can succeed, they should expect a phone call from Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.
Isn’t it crazy how many startups are going into the fake meat/ dairy industry?
Many of them will not make it…but I think Yali Bio just might.
What They Do: Immersive storytelling app that allows you to listen to stories about the locations you pass through on road trips.
Amount Raised: $3.2M seed round
Lead Investors: Camping World
Notable Investor: Kevin Costner (co-founder)
Why It Matters:
Two of the hottest industries currently are the great outdoors and audio, and HearHere checks off both boxes.
The company currently has:
- 100,000 users
- 8,880 stories
- 26 people on its content team
Having Kevin Costner as a co-founder, investor, and spokesperson is a massive asset. With Costner starring as John Dutton in Yellowstone, a TV show watched weekly by 10M+ people, HearHere should have no problem getting their mission heard.