Sports media company WSC Sports raises $100 million
WSC Sports, a B2B sports video company, has raised $100 million in a series D funding round, led by ION Crossover Partners, to expand into new verticals and countries.
Why it matters: The Israel-based company's growth reflects the changes rapidly disrupting the sports media industry.
- WSC Sports licenses artificial intelligence software to media companies and sports leagues that cuts video clips of live sports events and distributes them in real-time.
- Current clients include the NBA, the NHL, NASCAR, and MLS along with media players ESPN, YouTube TV, Tencent and Bleacher Report.
Details: The new funding will go toward recruiting more than 150 new employees this year and building out products that are adjacent to the sports video work it currently manages, says WSC Sports CEO and co-founder Daniel Shichman.
- "Because of cord-cutting and because of habits, some media rights owners are going direct to consumer and need to be much smarter with OTT, sports betting, NFTs," Shichman tells Axios.
- ION Crossover Partners has a history of backing Israeli-founded companies in the media and tech industries, including Taboola, Innovid, SimilarWeb and Fiverr.
By the numbers: The company didn't disclose its latest valuation, but Shichman says its annual revenue is in the "tens of millions" range.
- With this round, WSC Sports has now raised a total of $149 million. In addition to lead investor ION, existing investors Intel Capital, O.G. Tech and Detroit Venture Partners (Dan Gilbert) also participated in the series D. Intel, O.G. and Detroit all participated in the company's series C, per Crunchbase.
- The company has around 260 employees across offices in Israel, where its headquartered, New York, Sydney and London.
The bottom line: "The fact that you can generate any type of content and target it in real-time is really powerful," Shichman said.
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