Albion Ventures LLP (‘Albion Ventures’), one of the largest independent venture capital investors in the UK, has led a £1.65m funding round in the mobile fan engagement and sports marketing company InCrowd Sports (“InCrowd”). Albion Ventures are 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 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 that 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% 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, Partner at Albion Ventures said:
“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, said:
“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 said:
“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.”
For further enquiries please contact:
Patrick Evans / David Sells (for Albion Ventures)
Archie Woodhead (for InCrowd)
+44 (0)20 3137 9873 or email@example.com
About Albion Ventures
Albion Ventures LLP is a leading venture capital investor which has been managing investments in small unquoted UK companies since 1996. Albion has over £270 million under management across six Venture Capital Trusts and a portfolio of around 60 businesses.
Albion Ventures looks to invest £1-10m in growing businesses within a variety of sectors including healthcare, technology, environmental, travel and leisure, and asset-based businesses. Our approach is to provide strategic advice as well as financial resources in order to realise the full potential of the business invested in and so create returns for our shareholders.
Albion Ventures is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company, serving 21 million customers across five countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. Sky offers the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.
Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of £4.9 billion. The group employs 30,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).
InCrowd is a sports marketing company that uses technology to bring fans closer to the teams they are passionate about. They build club apps based on proprietary TribeHive Connect software, which networks all phones with the app installed, boosting connectivity in sports stadiums, dramatically improving fan’ access to data.
InCrowd enables fans to directly participate via their smart phone, expressing their views, opinions and predictions to each other and via the stadium’s big screen. This also provides a platform for clubs to build one to one relationships with their fan base, whether they’re watching from the stands, the pub, or their home.