25 promising sports startups to watch, according to VCs and other top investors

  • Top sports VCs and investors were asked by Business Insider to recommend the most promising startups in the space.
  • They returned with AI, tech, ticketing, media, betting, and other startups.
  • Some companies, such as WSC Sports, work with professional athletes, while others, such as ARod’s Jump, have yet to enter the market.

Startups are disrupting nearly every aspect of the sports industry, from athlete training to stadium ticketing to fan betting.

While the overall flow of money into startups has slowed in the shaky economy, sports — particularly sports tech — has remained somewhat resilient this year.

According to tech investment bank DrakeStar, more than $5 billion in new funds from sources such as venture capital and private equity went into sports tech in 2022, and $6 billion had already been tracked in the sector this year by mid-August.

Investor interest has prompted more innovation in the industry. However, the funding environment has remained challenging. PitchBook data from earlier this year showed that startups in sports betting and online gambling had received slightly less investment than in previous years, for example.

Even if macroeconomic conditions improve, sports startups may be forced to adapt to a new reality in 2024.

“There are too many sub-scale companies without much runway in the space,” said Chris Grove, Acies Investments’ cofounder.

In recent months, we’ve seen some upstarts band together to scale their businesses in this changing environment. For example, the sports-betting-monitoring firm US Integrity merged with the gambling-regulatory-compliance firm Odds on Compliance, forming a formidable player in responsible gaming.

Some investors believe this trend will continue into 2024.

“The tide has definitely gone out — most companies can be seen for what they really are,” he said. “It’s ultimately a healthy restructuring.”

As Darwinian effects begin to separate the winners and losers in the startup landscape, Business Insider has compiled a new list of sports startups to watch in 2024. We asked top venture capital firms and other sports investors for two nominations each, one for a company they’d invested in and one for a company they hadn’t.

The investors returned with a diverse set of startups spanning the sports landscape, from gambling to health. Several employ artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, while others are emerging sports leagues attracting celebrity investors. Some aren’t what you’d expect to hear when you hear “sports,” but investors highlighted them because their technology could be game changers for the industry.

We received a number of nominations, which we included on the 2022 version of this list. Almost Friday and Overtime, as well as the sports marketing startup Tappp, continue to excite investors. Beehiiv, another nominated company, was recently included on our list of promising creator-economy startups.

According to investors, here are 25 promising sports startups listed alphabetically.

Dabble is bringing social features like the ability to follow fellow bettors and copy their wagers to sports betting.

Recommended by: Benjie Cherniak, an angel investor, who is an investor in Dabble

Total funding: 33 million Australian dollars (about $22 million) from investors including the gaming group Tabcorp, according to PitchBook

What it does: Dabble is a social betting company based in Australia that offers sports gambling and horse racing.

Why it’s on the list: The upstart caters to a younger audience with social features such as the ability to follow other bettors, or “Dabblers” as they are referred to on the platform, and copy trending bets.

“What I like about them is they have successfully embraced social-media functionality to create a immersive betting experience that appeals to the 35-and-under crowd, powered by a lightning-fast platform that has proven scalable,” Cherniak, who invested in the company, said. “Also love their ‘copy bet’ feature that accounts for close to half the bets placed.”

The platform, which was founded in 2020, had approximately 150,000 customers in Australia in its first few years, according to the Sydney Herald in October 2022. In June 2022, the company reported annual revenue of 47 million Australian dollars (approximately $30 million). It also acquired Moneyball Australia, a social-focused sports-betting app, earlier this year.

Dabble is currently looking to expand into new markets, according to Cherniak.

“Time will tell if they can replicate this success in the US and/or Europe,” he went on to say.

Teams are understanding their fans better with the help of Data Talks

Recommended by: Craig Thompson, of Mindspring Capital, who is not an investor in the company

Total funding: $1.38 million as of June 2021, according to Pitchbook

What it does: Data Talks, a Swedish company, works with teams to use data collected on their fans, such as which games they attend, videos they watch, and merchandise they buy. Data Talks makes promotional offers to specific fans based on their interests and activity (or inactivity).

Data Talks provides teams with a dashboard that shows how well promotions are performing and how much revenue has been generated. According to the company’s website, its technology will help clients get larger sponsorship deals because it will help them better understand and engage their fanbases.

Why it’s on the list: According to the company, it works with over 550 clubs and leagues, primarily in Europe, and is rapidly expanding. He believes that clients’ ability to access and understand information on the dashboard is critical to easily seeing the benefits of using the product.

“They just have a very smart solution that is really working,” Thompson told reporters.

DruvStar helps sports and gaming companies defend themselves against cyberattacks

Recommended by: Davis Catlin, cofounder and managing partner at Discerning Capital, which is not an investor in DruvStar

Total funding: Founder-funded, according to the company

What it does: DruvStar claims that its mission is to protect its clients, which include several sports and gaming companies, from cyber threats. It provides four key cybersecurity and data-security products that make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Why it’s on the list: According to Catlin, cybersecurity is one of the hottest areas for investment in sports betting and the broader gambling industry. Several high-profile hacks this year have focused attention on cyber threats, including an MGM Resorts hack that disrupted services and cost the company approximately [$100 million] in revenue.

DruvStar’s products can assist in identifying and repairing flaws in a company’s systems. DruvStar DataVision, one of its tools, uses AI and machine learning to identify the most sensitive data within an organization, where it’s stored, and how it’s typically used, so DruvStar’s technology can detect unusual activity that could indicate a potential breach.

“Everyone is trying to lock the doors and make sure the windows are shuttered, but their job is to sit there and watch the safe,” she said.

Manjit Gombra Singh, the company’s founder and CEO, and cofounder Suchitra Singh launched it in 2019. Manjit Gombra Singh has spent the last 25 years of his career at the crossroads of technology and gaming, serving as Aristocrat’s global technology chief and PointsBet’s president of global products and technology.

Female athletes are learning more about their hormones with Eli Health’s saliva testing kits

Recommended by: Assia Grazioli-Venier, Muse Capital, which is an investor in the company

Total funding: $9 million, according to the company. Key investors include Cake Ventures, Muse Capital, and RH Capital.

What it does:

The women’s health company creates at-home hormone testing kits that rely on saliva to provide results. Eli Health provides athletes with hormone information that can help shape workout and recovery plans, prevent injuries, optimize nutrition, and prioritize mental health.

The company stated that it is currently working on partnerships with leagues and athletes, and that it has conducted research with McGill University’s Exercise Physiology department.

Why it’s on the list: Eli Health represents a significant advancement in sports science, based primarily on testing with male athletes. According to Grazioli-Venier, continuous hormone testing could be a game changer for female athletes both on and off the field, improving performance and preventing injuries.

Five Iron Golf is reimagining the TopGolf model for urban settings like New York

Recommended by: Lloyd Danzig, cofounder and managing partner at Sharp Alpha Advisors, which is not an investor in Five Iron Golf

Total funding: $30 million from Callaway Golf Company, according to PitchBook

What it does: Five Iron Golf is an indoor golf experience and sports bar with golf simulators.

Why it’s on the list:

Five Iron Golf, unlike TopGolf’s massive indoor-outdoor venues, is designed for cities and urban environments. It rents out golf simulators and has a full bar, food menu, golf instructors, and events.

Jared Solomon, Nora Dunnan, Mike Doyle, and Katherine Solomon founded the company in 2017 in New York City, where it now has five locations. According to its website, the company has offices in ten major cities, including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle.

While Danzig’s fund does not typically invest in retail businesses, he is intrigued by Five Iron Golf’s success and anticipates “major growth in the world of experiential sports-centric leisure activities and hospitality options,” as evidenced by Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake’s recent entry into the space with their T-Squared Social.

“Sports and hospitality are growing increasingly intertwined — we are seeing TopGolf reimagined for every other sport, from baseball to darts to soccer,” he said. “We believe demand is only increasing for unique, upscale entertainment venues that combine competitive entertainment, premium food and beverage, and a refined energetic atmosphere.”

Gemini Sports Analytics helps teams turn their unused data into a competitive advantage

Recommended by: Roger Ehrenberg, Eberg Capital, which is an investor in the company

Total funding: $4.75 million, according to the company. Key investors are Eberg Capital, Florida Funders, leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners, Miami Angels, Ocean Azul Partners, Raptor Group, and Social Leverage.

What it does:

Gemini Sports Analytics uses artificial intelligence to analyze and present data points collected by teams and leagues. It collaborates with Olympic, professional, and collegiate athletes.

Gemini provides its clients with a wide range of applications. According to the company, teams use the tool to forecast which potential players would be the best fit for their playing style, to assess the market value of current players, and to forecast how a player might compete at a higher level. According to the company, an MLB team uses the technology to decide which pitchers to use, and an NFL team uses Gemini’s assistance on 4th downs.

Why it’s on the list: Ehrenberg led Gemini’s seed round, and said the company’s data-science tools are “easy-to-use” and help teams “optimize all aspects of their operations.”

Jackpot.com is modernizing the lottery and attracting some of the biggest names in sports

Recommended by: Meredith McPherron, CEO and managing partner at Drive by DraftKings, which is not an investor in Jackpot.com

Total funding: According to the company, $42 million was raised from investors including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the Kraft Group, which owns the New England Patriots, and the Tisch family, co-owners of the New York Giants.

What it does: Jackpot.com is a platform where people can buy official state and national lottery tickets online.

Why it’s on the list:

Jackpot.com, founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Akshay Khanna, Roi More, and Yariv Ron, is assisting in the digitalization of the US lottery industry. It collaborates with various lotteries to allow people to purchase tickets through its website or mobile app. The company buys the tickets on behalf of the customers, uploads a copy to their accounts, and then transfers any winnings.

It isn’t strictly a sports company, but it has attracted some of the industry’s biggest investors, including those mentioned above, as well as big names like Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, NBA superstar James Harden, and NHL legend Martin Brodeur.

Jackpot.com announced a $42 million extended Series A round this year, making it one of the largest fundraises in the sports betting and online gambling sectors.

The company has also used sports as a marketing tool, forming partnerships with teams in the states where it operates, such as the Cleveland Guardians and the New York Yankees.

The startup could help the lottery industry compete in the United States against a growing wave of online betting options, including sports betting.

“There has never been a more important time for states to consider how to modernize their lottery offering to compete with an increasing number of risk-based entertainment options,” McPherron said during the DraftKings Drive event. “With this digital transition, Jackpot.com is able to rethink the user experience around lottery products and in turn drive increased revenues back to state run lotteries.”

Jump wants to put fans at the center of the ticketing process

Recommended by: Deepen Parikh, Courtside Ventures, which is an investor in the company

Total funding: $35 million, according to the company. Key investors include the founders themselves, Courtside Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Forte Ventures, Mosaic General Partnership, and Will Ventures.

What it does:

Jump is a ticketing company that focuses on the fan experience. The company will market the product to teams, who will then be able to use it to provide fans with personalized options for upgrading, purchasing, or selling tickets even after the game has begun.

According to the company, by using its product, teams will make games more personal for their fans while increasing revenue. Jump has yet to announce a release date for its product.

Why it’s on the list:

Jump, according to Parikh, is changing the live sports experience. Following last fall’s Ticketmaster blunder while selling tickets to Taylor Swift’s tour, the company announced $20 million in new funding in March.

Jump was founded by Alex Rodriguez, his business partner Marc Lore, and software entrepreneur Jordy Leiser, who currently serves as CEO.

Just Women’s Sports delivers news and other content to its rapidly growing audience

Recommended by: Meredith McPherron, Drive by DraftKings, which is an investor in the company

Total funding: About $10 million, according to the company. Key investors include Blue Pool Capital, Billie Jean King, Drive by DraftKings, and Muse Capital.

What it does:

Just Women’s Sports is an online media brand that creates Instagram and TikTok posts, articles, podcasts, and newsletters that are entirely dedicated to women’s sports news and other content.

According to the company, Just Women’s Sports has gained nearly 900,000 TikTok followers since October 2022, and its projected 2023 revenue is 48% higher than last year.

Why it’s on the list:

Just Women’s Sports, according to McPherron, is driving content and community building in women’s sports.

She also stated that the NWSL’s recent media rights agreement, which is 40 times larger than the league’s previous agreement, will “create a wealth of opportunities for pioneering startups driving related content, community, and commerce.”

League One Volleyball will expand from the youth to professional level in 2024

Recommended by: Assia Grazioli-Venier, Muse Capital, which is not an investor in the company

Total funding: $60 million from investors including Left Lane Capital, Ares Management Funds, and athletes like Lindsey Vonn, according to the company

What it does:

LOVB, pronounced “love,” founded a network of 43 youth volleyball clubs with over 1,100 teams and plans to launch a professional league in six US cities where those clubs operate in November 2024.

LOVB also helps thousands of youth players navigate the college recruiting process and collaborates with college athletes to serve as brand ambassadors.

Why it’s on the list:

LOVB, which was founded in 2019, will not be the only professional volleyball league in the country with celebrity backers, nor will it be the only one to open next year. Nonetheless, its youth and college ventures have given it a social media leg up: the company has nearly 30,000 Instagram followers and 11,000 TikTok followers.

“LOVB is on fire!” Grazioli-Venier explained.

Minute.ly uses AI to increase video engagement on sports websites and social media

Recommended by: Craig Thompson, Mindspring Capital, which is an investor in the company

Total funding: $17 million, according to the company. Key investors include Infront Sports & Media, Mindspring Capital, QP Ventures, and Wildcard Ventures.

What it does:

Minute.ly‘s AI-powered video technology generates intelligent thumbnails for leagues’ and media partners’ websites, apps, and social media pages. According to the company, these highlight clips are increasing views, engagement, and revenue for clients.

Minute.ly also tracks user engagement in order to assist clients in optimizing their video strategies. The NFL, MLB, NASCAR, Formula One, and Fox Sports are among the company’s partners.

Why it’s on the list:

Minute.ly has been one of Mindspring’s top companies in the few years since Mindspring invested in it, according to Thompson.

“Their business is rapidly expanding,” Thompson said.

Thompson cited technology performance and an increase in major partnerships as two components of Minute.ly‘s success.

Misapplied Sciences hopes to bring its digital-display tech to stadiums and other venues

Recommended by: Michael Proman, managing director at Scrum Ventures, which is an investor in Misapplied Sciences

Total funding: $25 million from investors including Pelion Venture Partners, Corriente Advisors, and Japan Post Capital, according to the company

What it does: Misapplied Sciences developed Parallel Reality, a digital-display technology that can display personalized messages to multiple viewers at the same time. It wants to expand the technology into sports and entertainment venues like stadiums, among other things.

Why it’s on the list:

Misapplied Sciences’ technology has the potential to “reset the standard for how venues engage with their fans,” according to Scrum Ventures investor Proman. He also likes that the company’s technology can “transcend the vertical and extract revenue through a diverse partner base,” which is central to the investment thesis of his fund.

The Pasadena-based company has collaborated with Delta Air Lines, a company investor in the company, to display personalized flight information to customers at the Detroit Airport; each person would see different content on the digital screen after scanning their boarding pass to opt in.

According to the company, Misapplied Sciences has been in talks with sports and entertainment companies about potential partnerships that could bring the technology to venues in the near future.

“The technology is an especially great fit for sports venues as it enables personalized fan experiences, social-media-worthy moments, welcome and loyalty messaging, customized wayfinding, language translation, and other magical ways to connect with fans,” said Albert Ng, the company’s chief executive officer.

Ng, the CEO, and Dave Thompson, the company’s chief operating and creative officer, founded the company in 2014.

Outlier is building a Bloomberg Terminal for sports betting

Recommended by: Benjie Cherniak, an angel investor, who is not an investor in Outlier

Total funding: About $5 million from investors including Next Coast Ventures, Alumni Ventures, and Tribeca Early Stage Partners, according to the company

What it does: Outlier created a sports betting trading desk where gamblers can browse, analyze, and execute picks from major sportsbooks all in one place. For sports betting, it is comparable to an E-Trade or Bloomberg Terminal.

Why it’s on the list:

Outlier is attempting to make it easier for bettors to obtain all of the sports information they require to place a bet, compare odds across sportsbooks such as FanDuel and DraftKings, and place their wagers all within a single app. It bills itself as a “super app” for sports betting on its website.

The company charges a monthly subscription fee of around $20 for its main data-focused product and $80 for its recently launched pro version, which allows bettors to place more advanced bets such as arbitrage bets.

Evan Kirkham, CEO, Luis Lafer-Sousa, CTO, and Peter Reggio, CFO, founded the company in 2023.

“While there is no shortage of sports-information apps designed to assist bettors, Outlier stands out for its ease of use allowing subscribers to browse, analyze, and execute wagers seamlessly from the app,” Cherniak said in a statement. “This is their first NFL season and given the organic growth they’ve achieved to date, it looks like they’ve found an emerging market fit for a deliverable that will continue to evolve.”

Picklebet is an Australian esports, sports betting, and media company that’s expanding internationally

Recommended by: Davis Catlin, cofounder and managing partner at Discerning Capital, which is an investor in Picklebet

Total funding: $32 million Australian dollars (about $21 million) from investors including Drive by DraftKings, Discerning Capital, and Yolo Investments, according to the company

What it does: Picklebet is an Australian online betting and media company focused on esports, sports, and internet culture.

Why it’s on the list:

The company, founded in 2020 by Nick Heaney and Damon Oudejans, has built a business model in Australia that many are now attempting to scale in the United States: a betting company tailored for a younger audience with its own technology and a built-in media arm.

Pickle Studios, a division of the company, creates mostly original and short-form videos that aim to be humorous and culturally relevant, with a focus on sports and esports.

“If it was in the US, you would already have been aware of it, and it would’ve raised at fix or six times the valuation that it did in Australia,” Catlin, the investor, said.

Picklebet has amassed a sizable audience for esports betting, a new area of gambling that has earned the company some flak in Australia. However, the company has grown and continues to attract investors both inside and outside of the country.

It intends to expand into new markets with its latest investment round, possibly including Latin America, where the regulated sports betting market is expanding in countries such as Brazil, according to Catlin.

“Latin America, I believe will be over the next five years the new hot market everyone is focused on,” he said. “We’re working with [Picklebet] on taking an attractive Australian fast-growing business and using it as a platform to grow in Latin America and in the regulated market.”

Playermaker’s AI-based sensors track in-game motion for soccer players

Recommended by: Alex Bente, ADvantage, which is an investor in the company

Total funding: $50 million, according to the company. Key investors include ADvantage, FengHe Group, Ryan Sports Ventures, and Ventura Capital Group.

What it does:

Playermaker creates tracking devices that athletes wear on their shoes to collect data for performance analysis. Through its app, the company, which primarily focuses on soccer, uses AI to provide players with information such as distance, kicking power, and speed.

The technology is used by more than 150 clubs, in addition to recreational players, according to the company.

Why it’s on the list:

FIFA recently approved Playermaker’s technology for in-game use after years of allowing upper-body tracking devices.

“They’re the first company in the world to get that kind of approval to put sensors on soccer players’ feet, and that’s a big step forward,” said Bente, who led Playermaker’s most recent funding round.

Bente is optimistic about Playermaker’s future growth because he has built trust with its team over the years and believes its processes are “very scalable.”

The Realest ensures sports memorabilia is authentic before fans buy it

Recommended by: Steve Ahern and Lance Dietz, KB Ventures, which is not an investor in the company

Total funding: Undisclosed amount. Key investors include BAM Ventures, Darren Rovell, and Slow Ventures.

What it does:

To avoid fraud, The Realest authenticates music and sports memorabilia using witnesses and a multi-layered process.

The Realest also works with a marketplace where fans can buy merchandise, with royalties going to athletes, teams, and leagues. According to the company, it is the first sports collectibles marketplace to return royalties to the source.

Why it’s on the list:

According to Dietz, the ability to reduce concerns about fraud while still allowing athletes and artists to profit from their memorabilia is “reimagining” the industry and “resolving pain points that have existed over time.”

“We think it’s just a really neat time and really neat offering for truly building something that can be one of its kind in the collectibles and memorabilia space,” said Dietz.

Dietz also mentioned founder Scott Keeney’s extensive music industry contacts as DJ Skee.

SlamBall relaunched its trampoline basketball league this year

Recommended by: Lloyd Danzig, cofounder and managing partner of Sharp Alpha Advisors, which is an investor in SlamBall

Total funding: $11 million from investors including IA Sports Ventures, Eberg Capital, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s David Blitzer, and Fanatics’ Michael Rubin, according to PitchBook

What it does: SlamBall is a trampoline basketball league that was relaunched in 2023.

Why it’s on the list:

SlamBall is back after its debut in 2000, hoping to capitalize on the surge in interest in emerging sports in the United States.

According to investor Danzig, the league relaunched in July with eight teams and two coaches, a 2,000-seat venue in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a two-year deal with ESPN to broadcast the games. To increase engagement, the league collaborated with Circa and BetMGM to allow people to wager on the games, as well as with sports-data provider Genius Sports on its official free-to-play game.

According to US TVDB, which tracks Nielsen TV ratings, approximately 212,000 viewers watched the season opener on ESPN on July 21 and approximately 164,000 tuned in for the finals in August. This did not include ESPN2 or the streaming service ESPN+.

While viewership was low, Danzig said the sport has been generating buzz online, and the league has enlisted the help of other sports celebrities to increase interest.

“The season opener was a viral phenomenon, earning organic engagement from Snoop Dogg, Patrick Mahomes, Pat McAfee, and many others,” he wrote. “The championship game featured Marshawn Lynch and Dez Bryant in the broadcast booth.”

Sleeper has millions of fantasy sports users and wants to become a social platform for sports

Recommended by: Chris Grove, cofounding partner at Acies Investments, which is not an investor in Sleeper

Total funding: $67 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, and Rainfall, according to PitchBook

What it does: Sleeper is a season-long fantasy sports app for a new generation.

Why it’s on the list:

Sleeper, which was founded in 2018, has 5 million monthly active users for its fantasy sports platform and aspires to be a “super app” for sports, according to CEO Nan Wang.

“Sleeper’s origins go back to wanting to build a better season-long fantasy experience for sport fans,” Grove, the founder of Acies, said. “They did that… There is a generation of season-long fantasy sports fans who are defined by Sleeper rather than Yahoo.”

The company recently announced plans to launch a media division called Sleeper Media in order to attract content creators and grow into a social platform for all sports.

It intends to use the millions of users who visit Sleeper to play fantasy games to distribute other types of games and content.

“Sleeper wants to be a platform,” Grove explained. “I know that’s a bit of VC buzz speak,” he added, but the company “could quickly grow into something that tens of millions of American sports fans participate in” if it can successfully build on its current audience.

StatusPro creates VR experiences for NFL players and fans

Recommended by: Steve Ahern and Lance Dietz, KB Partners, which is an investor in the company

Total funding: $28.2 million as of July 2023, according to PitchBook. Celebrity investors include LeBron James, Naomi Osaka, and Drake, per the company’s website.

What it does:

StatusPro is a gaming and augmented reality company used by both professional athletes and fans. Former football players Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins and Troy Jones founded it.

NFL teams, including the Baltimore Ravens, use the company’s headsets during practice to simulate in-game experiences. StatusPro also collaborated on a VR game for fans with the NFL, Meta, and Playstation. The game’s second edition was recently released by the companies.

Why it’s on the list:

StatusPro received Meta’s approval, which pleased KB Partners, which led the seed round.

“The intersection of industry interest in partnership from the NFL, as well as on the platform side with Meta, just made it pretty powerful as part of a thesis for why this game and why this platform would be well positioned against competitors,” said Dietz.

According to Dietz, the founders’ experience as former athletes provides them with a more unique perspective than coming from the gaming world. Both founders were college athletes, and Hawkins spent six years in the NFL.

Supersapiens is a metabolic health and performance startup used by athletes

Recommended by: Michael Proman, managing director at Scrum Ventures, which is not an investor in Misapplied Sciences

Total funding: $31 million from investors including Swiss Startup Group, LangLeven Group, and San Antonio Spurs CEO RC Buford, according to the company

What it does: Supersapiens analyzes metabolic health and performance data that athletes, among others, can use to plan their diets, optimize training, and improve recovery.

Why it’s on the list:

According to the company’s website, the platform has been used by both elite and amateur athletes such as runners and triathletes.

Metabolic fitness is becoming more common in personalized health and wellness, according to Proman. He believes that as the general public seeks to improve performance, recovery, and dietary health, Supersapiens may benefit from regulatory approval for continuous glucose monitoring.

“Look for more and more people to adopt this data point and pay closer attention to things like heart rate variance (HRV) and hydration levels as the democratization of wellness continues to pick up momentum in 2024,” said Proman.

Phil Southerland, the CEO, Fitzalan Crowe, the chief of staff, and Jay Robbins, the CFO, founded Supersapiens in 2019.

US Integrity helps sports and sports-betting organizations identify potential problem gambling from athletes and others

Recommended by: Chris Grove, cofounding partner at Acies Investments, which is an investor in US Integrity

Total funding: $10.5 million from investors including Las Vegas Sands, SeventySix Capital, and the New York Angels, per the company

What it does: US Integrity uses technology to monitor sports wagering and offer tools to identify potentially suspicious betting-related activity. The company recently merged with the regulatory-compliance company Odds on Compliance.

Why it’s on the list:

The company is aiming to be a major player in responsible gaming in the United States.

It recently launched ProhiBet, a solution that enables sports betting operators, sports organizations, and regulators to share data in order to track problem gambling behaviors. It could, for example, track athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators who are not permitted to bet on their sports in order to prevent them from opening accounts with sports betting and daily fantasy sports operators.

According to the company’s website, US Integrity works with clients ranging from gambling operator BetMGM to golf’s PGA Tour. PrizePicks, a rapidly expanding daily fantasy sports operator, recently announced a partnership that includes the use of ProhiBet.

“We’ve seen a real groundswell of attention to the question of who should and shouldn’t be able to bet on sports in the US,” Acies Investments’ Grove said. “US Integrity’s launch of Prohibet is capturing that groundswell of attention and in doing so is propelling the company into different strata both in terms of the company size and revenue, but also in terms of how critical a role the company is playing in regulated sports betting in America.”

WagerWire is building the secondary market for sports bets

Recommended by: Michael Melikian, cofounder and managing partner at 305 Ventures, which is an investor in WagerWire

Total funding: About $3.3 million from investors including Roger Ehrenberg, Betr cofounder Joey Levy, and former NBA All-Star Richard Jefferson, according to the company

What it does: WagerWire is a marketplace where people can buy, sell, and trade previously placed sports bets and fantasy entries.

Why it’s on the list:

The startup is establishing a secondary market for sports bets similar to what Stubhub does for tickets and StockX does for sneakers. The platform could allow bettors to reduce their risk by selling their action or to increase their potential reward by purchasing a riskier bet.

“It is my belief that as sports betting and fantasy products continue to evolve, consumers will continue to seek a competitive edge, a strategy or some system of management in order to slightly shift the odds in their favor,” Melikian, the CEO of 305V, said. “There is a possibility that WagerWire will own the secondary marketplace for buying and selling existing wagers, which could be monetarily beneficial to both the sportsbook operator and the consumer.”

WagerWire, which was founded in 2021 by college friends Zach Doctor, Guy Dotan, and Travis Geiger, collaborates with a number of major sportsbooks, including BetMGM and Caesars Entertainment.

The company has a direct-to-consumer app that allows users to see how much their bets from various sportsbooks would be worth on the secondary market. Earlier this year, it also launched a media division and a community page to host content from the platform’s creators, including video, audio, and written work ranging from game previews and recaps to betting and fan takes.

Winible wants to be for sports-betting influencers what OnlyFans is for adult-content creators

Recommended by: Michael Melikian, cofounder and managing partner at 305 Ventures, which is not an investor in Winible

Total funding: $1.5 million from individual investors including Flexport cofounder David Peterson, Thumbtack founding partner Michael Flaxman, and entrepreneur Adam Lyons, according to the company

What it does: Winible is a platform where sports-betting influencers and handicappers can launch and manage their businesses, including creating digital storefronts.

Why it’s on the list:

Winible wants to create the OnlyFans for sports betting influencers, but not in the way you might expect. It’s a platform where creators can sell exclusive sports predictions and betting picks, similar to how adult-content creators sell photos and messages on OnlyFans.

“We have built Winible with a simple thesis: selling predicted outcomes of sporting events will be to 18-34 men in 2024 what selling ‘exclusive content’ on OnlyFans was to 18-34 year old women in 2020,” the company said in a press release. “The socioeconomic profile of the creator/influencer and the market dynamics driving industry growth are nearly identical, but this time they will be selling picks not pics.”

According to the company, app payments made through its platform, such as subscriptions and individual purchases, incur a 20% transaction fee.

It has the potential to change the game for sports-betting influencers looking to monetize their content.

“I like Winible because it allows any sports-betting influencer to build a highly customizable digital storefront with payment processing, subscription management, real-time SMS notifications, customer support, and self-service free trials and custom discount codes,” Melikian at 305V said, adding that the company could also appeal to sports-betting marketers looking to connect with influencers’ dedicated fanbases.

Noah Traisman, who previously founded an OnlyFans competitor, Brandon Garcia, and Teddy Jungreis cofounded Winible.

WSC Sports uses AI to automatically generate highlight clips for teams, leagues, and media companies.

Recommended by: Alex Bente, ADvantage, which is not an investor in the company

Total funding: $149 million, according to the company. Key investors are Detroit Venture Partners, Intel Capital, ION Crossover Partners, and O.G. Venture Partners.

What it does:

WSC Sports uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to instantly identify and create highlights from live broadcasts for over 400 teams, leagues, broadcast partners, and federations. The NBA, NHL, MLS, ESPN, and YouTube TV are among its major partners.

The company was established in 2011 and is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Why it’s on the list:

Bente emphasized WSC Sports’ technological strength and team resiliency. He called the company a “exciting market opportunity” because its personalized, real-time highlights used AI long before the term became popular.

“They’re obviously one of the AI applications that makes a ton of sense,” Bente said of the company.

Xonar Technology, Inc. is helping to make stadiums safer

Recommended by: Deepen Parikh, Courtside Ventures, which is not an investor in the company

Total funding: $12 million, according to the company, which declined to share its investors

What it does:

Xonar is an event security company that screens people entering a venue using AI, sensors, and image processing. The company collaborates with teams and stadiums to detect weapons entering a venue.

Xonar created a portable screening system that can identify a risky individual using facial recognition technology.

Why it’s on the list:

Xonar is outside Parikh’s usual realm of strictly sports startups, but he likes the company and believes it has “large potential.”

The Department of Homeland Security has designated Xonar as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply