FanAI Inc., an AI-driven audience monetization platform starting with eSports, announced today the successful closing of their Series Seed. The round was led by Deepen Parikh of Courtside Ventures and included Greycroft GC Tracker Fund, a new AR, VR, and eSports fund, BDS Capital, CRCM Ventures, Sterling.VC, Loot Ventures (Manny Anekal, Dan Porter), Expansion VC, QB1 Ventures, Rosecliff Ventures, Catalyst Sports, Nex3, Jason Robins (founder of DraftKings), Jordan Rambis (former VP Business Development at aXiomatic), and Everblue Management.
In recent years, eSports has evolved from a niche community of gamers to a worldwide phenomenon with a massive and highly engaged audience that is poised for continued growth. As TV sports viewers continue to age, the average eSports TV viewer is 31 and even younger on digital platforms.
Seeing this opportunity, non-endemic brands are increasing their investment within eSports and the pace is on pace to double 2016’s total. In this growing industry, FanAI is the audience monetization platform that will drive revenue for the rights owners and sponsors by allowing them to deeply understand the diverse segments and preferences of the eSports audience.
FanAI makes it possible for rights owners to turn their audience data into a monetizable asset and for non endemic brands and sponsors to understand and target the appropriate audience segment; this will help grow the overall size and revenue for the eSports ecosystem.
“The caliber of investors in our Series Seed round, along with our recent work with DreamHack, all point toward the growing need for rights holders and sponsors to analyze eSports with in-depth analytics,” said Johannes Waldstein, founder & CEO of FanAI. “FanAI provides a deep understanding of each fan. We help agencies and brands deliver personalized experiences and offers to each fan, while at the same time allowing sponsors to properly invest their sponsorship and media dollars into eSports with confidence achieving their goals and measuring ROI.”
FanAI is currently working with DreamHack, one of the world’s largest eSports event and computer festival organizers. Alexander Leppänen, of MTG, owners of DreamHack and ESL said, “FanAI provides DreamHack a unique solution to bridge the gap between eSports and what agencies and brands want to see in terms of audience analytics and making our audience data actionable. This is taking what we know about our audience to another level, and supports our efforts to attract non endemic sponsors.”
Courtside Ventures invests in early-stage founders that are transforming the intersection of sports, technology and media. “Courtside Ventures is excited to partner with FanAI to deliver this innovative platform in the fast growing eSports industry. Johannes and his team at FanAI have the breadth of experience and knowledge in AI and analytics to help the eSports market attract new sponsors and increase overall market spend,” said Deepen Parikh, partner at Courtside VC.
About FanAI Inc.
FanAI is an AI-driven audience monetization platform focusing on eSports, and their sponsor ecosystems. The platform increases franchise and sponsorship revenues by making their audience data actionable. FanAI collects fan data, both first level data owned by the rights holders, and data on the wider digital fan audience, as available on various social and streaming platforms as well as data repository services and payment data. The process enriches data, analyzes, segments, builds brand-specific personas/archetypes, derives meaning and predicts behavior. For more information, visit http://fanai.io/.
Source: Press release