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Sports Funding, Sports tech news, M&A News-Nazara Acquires 8.5% Share in Web3 Gaming, Centre Court Capital unveils a $42 million fund.

Sports Funding News May 2024
Sports Funding News May 2024

Get Exclusive Updates Of Sports Funding, Sports Mergers, Sports Acquisitions and Sports Partnerships

Welcome to ScoreCard, your monthly dose of the latest and greatest happenings in the dynamic world of sports and sports technology! In a rapidly evolving landscape, we understand the importance of staying informed and ahead of the curve. That's why we've created ScoreCard by SportsFirst to bring you a comprehensive roundup of the most exciting sports deals, startup funding alerts, mergers, acquisitions, and emerging technologies in the industry.

Every month, our dedicated team of experts curates the top stories and trends from the world of sports and sports tech, ensuring that you never miss a beat. We've got you covered from the latest mega-mergers to innovative startups shaking up the industry. We dive deep into sports to bring exclusive insights, expert analysis, and thought-provoking commentary on the hottest topics.

ScoreCard is more than just a newsletter; it's a community of like-minded enthusiasts, professionals, and visionaries passionate about the future of sports and sports technology. Our mission is to keep you informed, inspired, and engaged as we explore cutting-edge developments reshaping how we play, compete, and experience the thrill of sports.

Welcome aboard, and let the games begin! 🏆  

1) Nazara Acquires 8.5% Share in Web3 Gaming Startup Circle of Games for $500k

Nazara Technologies, a big gaming company, recently bought an 8.5% share of a Web3 gaming company called Circle of Games (COG) for $500,000, which is about 4.17 crore Indian Rupees. This purchase was part of a bigger investment round where COG raised $1 million (about 8.3 crore Indian Rupees). This funding round also included money from the Swiss organization, The Hashgraph Association.

Nazara's office in Dubai bought 1,273 shares in COG’s parent company, and they will get an additional 891 shares as a bonus for giving advice. With this deal, Nazara hopes to grow its Web3 and blockchain gaming business. The investment will also help both Nazara and Circle of Games work better together, combining their teams and technology.

Circle of Games plans to use the $1 million to speed up its marketing efforts, improve its gaming platform, and grow its business in the United States, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. They also want to use some money to add more games to their collection.

2) Centre Court Capital unveils a $42 million fund dedicated to sports and gaming technology.

Centre Court Capital, founded by Mustafa Ghouse and Alok Samtaney, is introducing its first fund worth Rs 350 crore (about $42 million) for startups in sports and gaming. This fund aims to support entrepreneurs who are using technology to bring fresh ideas and advancements to the sports and gaming industries. Centre Court Capital is a SEBI-registered Category II AIF (Alternate Investment Fund) and plans to launch a feeder fund in GIFT City to attract investments from international backers. The fund has already made its initial investments in sports technology startups.

Centre Court Capital is launching a fund that will last for ten years. This fund will invest in companies related to sports and gaming. They plan to invest alongside other investors and have a say in the companies they invest in. Centre Court Capital aims to raise all the money for this fund by the end of 2024.

The fund will give between $1 million to $3 million to startups before they reach Series A funding. They will invest in about 15 to 18 startups, and half of the money will be saved for future investments in those companies.

3) Gemini Sports Analytics raises an additional US$3.1m in funding

Gemini Sports Analytics, a company that uses smart technology to predict how well sports teams and players will perform, got an extra $3.1 million from investors. Will Ventures led this new round of investment, with Eberg Capital and Social Leverage also chipping in. Back in 2023, Eberg Capital and Social Leverage led Gemini's first funding round of $3.25 million. In 2022, when Gemini started, it got $1.5 million.

The company was started by Jake Schuster, who knows a lot about sports science. Gemini has already helped teams in European soccer, college sports (NCAA), and American football (NFL), including the Colts. Even before Will Ventures joined, nine team owners had invested in Gemini. Now, with Will Ventures, there are 18 more investors who are also team owners. In total, 27 team owners have invested in Gemini. Recently, Gemini teamed up with Infinite Athlete to use its FusionFeed API.

4) Sports technology startup Hudle secures Rs 7 crore in pre-Series A funding.

Hudle, a sports tech platform in Delhi NCR, got Rs 7 crore in funding before their Series A round. Inflection Point Ventures and Sky Impact Capital led the funding, along with Survam Partners and Anay Ventures.

This money will help Hudle grow, make its product better, and do more marketing to reach more people interested in sports.

Hudle wants to encourage people to stay active and healthy through sports. They aim to reach 100 million Indians who want to stay fit and spend money on fitness by 2025.

Hudle helps people find sports venues, book activities, and connect with others who love sports. This makes staying active more fun and social.

The founders of Hudle are Suhail Narain, Arjun Singh Verma, and Sonam Taneja, and they have support from famous athletes like Ajinkya Rahane. Right now, Hudle organizes over 100,000 games every month in more than 1,300 places across 60 cities. They have a big community of over 500,000 players.

This partnership shows their dedication to making sports more accessible and inspiring more people in India to stay active and healthy. They want to use technology to make sports available to everyone.

5) Greenfly secures $14 million in investments from sports technology brands.

Greenfly, a company that helps sports, media, and other brands handle short videos, just got $14 million in investments. Advantage, a big investor in sports tech, led the funding. Ryan Sports Ventures, Mercato Partners, and NBA Equity also put in money. Other investors like Verance Capital, Iconica Partners, Alpha Edison, and Elysian Park Ventures joined too.

Their platform helps big sports and entertainment groups make and share short videos. Last year, they got over 40 partners worldwide. They also hired some important people and bought Miro AI, a company that analyzes sports content. Mercato Partners specifically invested in their AI technology from a big growth fund.

Greenfly's CEO, Daniel Kirschner, says that short videos are really popular these days on platforms like YouTube Shorts, TikTok, and Instagram Reels. He thinks sports organizations now see short videos as more than just marketing. They're a big part of the fan experience and can make money too. Last year was their fastest growth ever, and this money will help them grow even more.

6) Atairos to become a minority partner of V Sports.

V Sports S.C.S., a partnership between Nassef Sawiris and Wesley Edens that owns Aston Villa FC Limited and Aston Villa Women Football Club Limited, announced the completion of a deal with Atairos. Atairos will now be a minority partner in V Sports.

Despite the new partnership, V Sports retains complete ownership and control over all decisions concerning Aston Villa Football Club (AVFC).

Nassef Sawiris and Wesley Edens expressed their excitement about the partnership, noting that Atairos would help fund infrastructure improvements and growth for both AVFC and the broader V Sports network. They emphasized Atairos' successful track record in partnering with leading companies in industries like leisure, sports, and media across the UK and Europe. They believe Atairos is a good strategic partner for future growth and are happy to include them in the V Sports family.

Michael Angelakis, Chairman & CEO of Atairos, praised Aston Villa for its distinguished history, loyal supporters, excellent management, and employees. He is optimistic that this partnership will support the long-term growth of both the Premier League and Aston Villa's men's and women's teams. He is looking forward to helping strengthen Aston Villa's ability to compete and succeed even more in the future.

7) Winklevoss Twins Invest $4.5 Million in Real Bedford Football Club

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, founders of Gemini, along with their investment firm Winklevoss Capital, have invested $4.5 million in Bitcoin into Real Bedford FC. This investment makes them co-owners of the club alongside Peter McCormack. McCormack, a well-known podcaster and journalist from Bedford, has owned the football club since 2021. He aims to elevate the team to the Premier League. Real Bedford has already moved up from the 10th to the 9th tier in their first season and is aiming for another promotion this season.

All three co-owners, Cameron, Tyler, and Peter, believe strongly in Bitcoin and its potential to boost the club’s Premier League aspirations. The Winklevoss twins also recognize the impactful role of sports. Their investment will support the club’s community-focused approach to football. This follows a partnership that started in January 2022 when Gemini began sponsoring Real Bedford.

8) Nico Rosberg, former F1 World Champion, unveils a new €70 million Fund of Funds through his investment company, Rosberg Ventures.

Nico Rosberg, who used to race in Formula 1 and is now focused on investing in green businesses and startups, has started a new investment project with his company, Rosberg Ventures. They've set up a big investment pool worth €70 million called a Fund of Funds. This kind of fund collects money from investors and then invests that money into a variety of other funds. This spreads out the risk and allows investors to support a lot of different companies.

Rosberg Ventures launched its first fund a little over a year ago and has now started its second fund aiming to gather €75 million. They've already managed to get €30 million to start. This new fund will indirectly invest in over 2,000 companies that are working on new technologies in fields like artificial intelligence, health technology, blockchain, robotics, financial technology, and consumer tech.

Rosberg explains that this move is part of his ongoing efforts to support innovative technology startups around the world since he retired from racing. His investment firm, Rosberg Ventures, now includes all his investment activities, including this new $75 million Fund of Funds.

9) Bears propose new $5 billion domed stadium on the lakefront

The Chicago Bears have announced a plan to invest $3.2 billion in constructing a new stadium, with an additional $1.5 billion allocated for improvements to the surrounding infrastructure. This project, unveiled at Soldier Field, includes plans for more parks and better access to the city's Museum Campus, and might also feature a hotel that the public would own.

This announcement coincides with a significant week for the Bears, as they intend to select Caleb Williams, winner of the 2022 Heisman Trophy, with their first draft pick. They are counting on him to strengthen a historically problematic position for the team.

The Bears have committed to contributing over $2 billion towards the new publicly owned stadium. This funding will be composed of $2.025 billion from the Bears themselves, $300 million from an NFL loan, and $900 million from bonds financed by a continued 2% hotel tax, managed by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.

The team estimates that the project will generate $8 billion in regional economic benefits. The construction of the stadium, slated to occur on a parking lot adjacent to Soldier Field where the Bears have played since 1971, is expected to take up to five years and will be carried out in three phases. The Bears' current lease at Soldier Field extends until 2033.

10)  Tevaera secures $5M funding to redefine gaming!

Tevaera is happy to share that it has successfully raised $5 million from various investors, with Laser Digital from Nomura Group leading this round. This money will help Tevaera continue to build a comprehensive gaming platform that uses zkSync's technology.

For two years, Tevaera has worked hard on developing with zkSync, and this new funding is a major step forward. The company has focused on creating games with strong original concepts and solving problems in online gaming infrastructure. Jez Mohideen, the CEO of Laser Digital at Nomura Group, mentioned how exciting it is to support Tevaera as they strive to start a new phase in online gaming that uses advanced technology for better gaming experiences.

In the last year, Tevaera's gaming community has grown to over 850,000 members from more than 100 countries, all playing their multiplayer game, Teva Run. This game works together with Guardian NFTs and Teva Market, which is a full-scale gaming marketplace. Robin Babu and Gav Negi, who started Tevaera, expressed how grateful they are for the support from their partners and community. They believe this funding shows that their ideas are valuable and will help them set new standards for creating and playing online games.

Along with announcing this funding, Tevaera has also updated its website. The new site makes it easier for gamers and developers to learn about and use Tevaera's gaming tools and services. They are also planning to launch two new games and introduce a new, decentralized gaming chain on zkSync, which will make it easier for anyone to participate in web3 gaming. Rich Kim from Matter Labs highlighted Tevaera's achievements and how they've managed to build a multiplayer framework that works well with blockchain technology, expecting this funding to further boost their plans to create a complete gaming ecosystem using ZK Stack technology.

As the sports industry continues to grow and evolve, we can expect to see even more exciting funding and acquisition deals in the future. These deals will not only shape the landscape of the industry but also provide opportunities for new players to enter the market and for existing players to expand their reach. Whether it's through new technologies, innovative partnerships, or strategic acquisitions, the sports industry is sure to remain a hotbed of activity for years to come. So stay tuned for more updates and insights on the latest developments in this fast-paced and exciting field.

ScoreCard is for every Sports enthusiast. So, whether you're an athlete, a fan, an investor, or an entrepreneur in the sports and sports tech realm, ScoreCard is the perfect companion for staying up-to-date and inspired. Gear up for an exciting journey, as we embark on this adventure to stay ahead in the game!

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