With sports living its peak data moment, and with more states on track to legalize gambling after a watershed Supreme Court ruling, the intersection of tech and betting is primed for a big growth spurt.
That’s the investment thesis at SeventySix Capital, the Conshohocken-based venture capital firm that on Monday announced the latest company to get backing from its $10-million sports tech fund: Las Vegas-based Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN).
The company, cofounded in 2017 by longtime CBS sportscaster Brent Musburger, offers 24/7 information and analysis from “key innovators in the Las Vegas gaming industry.” Musburger himself hosts a daily show, aptly called My Guys in the Desert.
Per its website, the streaming network wants to bring an end to the era “when broadcasters subtly referenced point spreads and the over/under during games” and let gamblers have live access to tips and stats, streamed from a studio set located in the middle of the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa. The hotel is also where the company’s 40 full timers work from.
“This investment comes at an exciting time, as the legalization of sports gambling across the country is driving an evolution within the sports media space,” said Brian Musburger, cofounder and chairman of VSiN (and the sportscaster’s nephew). “This will change the way people watch sports.”
SeventySix Capital declined to disclose the amount of the investment, but said it was in its usual range of $250,000 to $1 million. Per a press release, VSiN will use the dough to expand its video capabilities and data offering.
But what exactly does that mean? Spokeswoman Michelle Musburger (Brian’s wife) said the company is working to improve its subscription model and developing an over-the-top (OTT) streaming offering in the vein of what companies like Sling and Fubo have done to capitalize on the cord-cutting movement and bypass the big content distributors.
This #CharlesBarkley bet on the #GoPats #Rams #SuperBowl ended up costing Nick Bogdanovich his job. He's doing ok now as DIR. of Trading for @WilliamHillUS & Sir Charles is still famous @MitchMossRadio @paulyhoward #FollowTheMoney M-F on @SIRIUSXM 204 pic.twitter.com/qP8NBB8yM6
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) July 23, 2018
“The sports betting industry is projected to be over $250 billion by 2021 and we believe that VSiN is positioned to capture a significant share of the media and analytics segment of this new market,” said Wayne Kimmel, managing director and founder of the VC firm. “We’re excited to partner with the VSiN team to build the media network for the sports betting industry.”
Out of its latest fund, SeventySix Capital has backed companies like Play by Play Sports Broadcasting Camps and N3rd Street Gamers (the Northern Liberties startup focused on developing esports competitors nationwide).
As with any investment thesis, time will tell if the Conshohocken firm placed the right bet by shifting its focus to sports tech, though the recent investment from Comcast Spectacor on N3rd Street Gamers is certainly an encouraging sign.-30-