UK venture capital investor Albion Ventures has led a GBP1.65m funding round in the mobile fan engagement and sports marketing company InCrowd Sports. Albion Ventures is investing alongside Sky and a number of angel investors.
The management team is led by Aidan Cooney who previously set up the world’s leading sports data company, Opta, also backed by Albion Ventures. He is joined by two former IMG executives and a technology group borne out of the University of Sussex Innovation Centre.
InCrowd develops mobile apps for professional sports clubs underpinned by the unique technology solution developed by the team at the University of Sussex. The technology solves the problem of poor connectivity in crowded places and allows phones to share all available connectivity, rather than compete for it.
InCrowd apps contain real-time content, match analysis and interactive fan games which directly engage sport’s most committed fans. InCrowd currently works with 10 football clubs including Middlesbrough and Watford and will be investing heavily in technology to create digital sponsorship rights for clubs and leagues. With over 50 per cent of the UK’s advertising spent on digital, this will be a major growth area for sport sponsorship over the next five years.
Ed Lascelles (pictured), Partner at Albion Ventures, says: “We are delighted to be working with Aidan again after our successful time together with Opta. He and his team at InCrowd have a huge opportunity to transform and enrich fans’ experience at live sports events, while at the same time offering rights holders and brands hyper targeted access to a large and valuable market.”
Emma Lloyd, Director of Corporate Development & Strategic Investments at Sky, says: “This is the latest in a series of Sky investments in pioneering technology companies, which we know bring real benefits to customers. We’re really looking forward to working with InCrowd, a company that shares our passion for innovation, and for finding new and exciting ways to deliver content.”
Aidan Cooney, CEO of InCrowd, says: “This round of funding not only enables us to invest in the technology needed to improve experiences for fans, clubs and sponsors but also brings with it a number of incredible people who will help us on our journey.”