New round led by ION Crossover Partners to further support disruption in sports media landscape
WSC Sports, the global leader in AI-driven sports highlights, today announced that it has closed a $100M Series D round, led by ION Crossover Partners (ICP). Existing investors, including Intel Capital, O.G. Tech and Detroit Venture Partners (Dan Gilbert), also participated in the round.
The company plans to use the new funding to support its aggressive growth plans for 2022 and beyond, continuing its expansion into new geographies, sports, and platforms such as OTT, NFTs, sports betting and more. In addition, the company is set to recruit more than 150 new employees this year, both in Israel and at its regional offices in New York, Sydney, and London.
WSC Sports, which has become one of the world’s leading sports-tech companies, surpassed more than 200 global customers in 2021, as a growing number of rights-holders are recognizing the strategic value of automating, customizing, and scaling their digital content efforts to better engage with fans and monetize their content.
During 2021, more than 3.4m highlights were created using the company’s AI-based platform, which equates to over nine years’ worth of video content. It was also a year where the company released innovative new products and tools for rights holders to connect with fans, such as WSC Stories. Over 6,000 stories were created, receiving close to 100 million views, with an average CTR of more than 11%, changing the way fans discover and engage with sports content.
“We’re delighted to secure this significant round of funding and couldn’t have asked for better new partners than ICP to join our professional team of investors” said Daniel Shichman, CEO and Co-founder, WSC Sports. “ICP will contribute from their vast experience working with growth stage technology companies as we continue our global expansion. Sports media rights owners are embracing new ways to connect with their fans and generate new revenue streams. With new consumption habits moving at a rapid pace, short-form video has become a key component in user acquisition, retention, and monetization and our new products that were launched during 2021 for broadcasters, OTT providers and sports betting operators demonstrate the scale and variety of use-cases our platform supports”.
“We have been following WSC’s progress over the last two years and found the team’s vision and execution highly impressive. Content is king, and we view sports content as one of the crown jewels of the digital age. WSC’s undeniable technology leadership is unlocking value for different stakeholders in the value chain. We look forward to taking part in the next chapter of WSC’s growth and innovation” said Gilad Shany, ICP’s Managing Partner, who will be joining WSC Sports’ BoD.
About WSC Sports
WSC Sports automates the creation and distribution of highlights for over 200 leagues and broadcast partners across the globe, including the NBA, NHL, ESPN, YouTube TV, Bundesliga, FIBA, Tencent and Bleacher Report.
Utilizing advanced AI and Machine Learning technologies, WSC Sports’ proprietary platform analyzes live sports broadcasts, identifies each and every event that occurs in a game, and in real-time creates and publishes customized short-form videos. This enables sports media rights owners to maximize the use of their content, creating new revenue streams and a personalized fan experience on every platform for every type of fan.
ION Asset Management Ltd. is an Israel-based investment management company, with AuM of approximately USD 3 billion, investing across private and public markets. ION Crossover Partners (ICP) invests in fast growth private technology companies when the business is in its global expansion phase and has a substantial customer and revenue base. The fund’s experienced investment team provides support for management teams in scaling their business by utilizing a strategic toolkit that includes IPO preparation. Recent investments include Fiverr, Monday.com, SimilarWeb, Taboola among others.