Exclusive: Sports Flashes raises pre-Series A funding
New Delhi-based India Sports Flashes Pvt. Ltd, which operates sports content app Sports Flashes, has raised $1 million (Rs 6.7 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round from early-stage venture capital fund SRI Capital, a company executive told TechCircle.
The startup will use the funds to expand its operations, Raman Raheja, founder of Sports Flashes, said.
Sports Flashes was founded in August 2016 by Raheja, an entertainment and sports professional with more than 20 years of experience, and Keshaw Sinha, an entrepreneur and IT veteran. Raheja has been associated with the Commonwealth Games, World Kabaddi League, International Indian Film Academy Awards, and Indian Premier League, among others. Sinha is no longer with the firm.
The company’s content feed is available in seven Indian languages and its app can be accessed on both Android and iOS. It offers sports TV, live scores, streaming videos, news, views, highlights, statistics, live updates, and commentary. The firm claims to have more than five million subscribers.
In January this year, Sports Flashes launched a 24x7, internet radio channel dedicated to sports.
In March 2017, it raised angel funding from Vineet Shrivastava, managing director of Nasdaq-listed investment solutions firm SEI India; Advitya Dewan, a seasoned angel investor; Vikas Bajaj, joint managing director at Bajaj Motors Ltd; and Amit Kharbanda, founder of digital set top box maker MyBox Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
In August 2017, Sports Flashes raised an undisclosed amount from media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL).
Other players in the digital sports content segment include Sportskeeda, Sports Asia, Khel Now and Floodlightz.
The seed-stage investor focuses on the Indian consumer market, enterprise software, data analytics, deep technology and enterprise software-as-a-service. It invests around $500,000 typically, but can go up to $1 million.
Its investment portfolio includes startups such as budget hotel aggregator FabHotels, fitness app Healthify, and software-as-a-service providers YellowDig and Zuppler.
In an interview with TechCircle in May this year, founder and managing partner Sashi Reddi said that his firm will make four to six more investments this year. He added that since the last two deals the firm made was in fintech, it would be more selective in its bets going forward. According to Reddi, a pure digital/online/tech strategy does not work in India, and hence, his firm looks for a strong offline component in the startups it invests in.