Bertelsmann Buys into Live-Streaming Sports Start-Up FloSports


AUSTIN: DCM Ventures and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments are among the investors that have contributed to the $21.2 million in new funding secured by FloSports to accelerate the growth of the online sports network.

WWE, Discovery Communications and existing investor Causeway Media Partners were also part of the financing round.

FloSports focuses on live sports and currently operates a subscription-based network of 14 dedicated sports verticals, including wrestling, track, grappling, MMA, elite fitness, boxing, fastpitch softball, gymnastics, basketball, tennis, volleyball, cheerleading and eSports. This year, FloSports launched four new sites, including FloVolleyball, FloCombat, FloTennis and FloKO, which covers the Fighting Game Community (FGC).

“We want to partner with world-class investors who share our vision to transform sports media,” said FloSports’s co-founder and CEO, Martin Floreani. “It’s exciting that visionaries in the media and OTT space have backed us to achieve this goal.

“We are the best direct-to-consumer solution for leagues, governing bodies and independent rights holders to monetize their events. In turn, this allows our company to serve millions of sports fans and supports our mission to grow the sports, the athletes, the events and the fans.”

“Over-the-top video services will disrupt the media ecosystem from top to bottom over the next five to seven years,” said Jason Krikorian, general partner at DCM Ventures and co-founder of Sling Media. “Of particular interest to me are companies that create content with an authentic voice that appeals to and cultivates passionate communities. FloSports has been exceptional at delivering high-quality live content and original programming, and we are thrilled to be a part of the team as the company extends its exceptional offering to more communities of sports fans.”

“As video consumption fragments and everyone from big media companies to individuals on YouTube pursue meaningful monetization on mobile and the web, FloSports has found a way to capture the passion of athletes and fans to build a thriving subscription business,” added Keith Titan, partner at Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments. “FloSports doesn’t merely stream live competitions, they partner with event organizers and governing bodies to provide top-quality original content and in-depth coverage.

“What impresses us most is that the FloSports team is part of the community and they are as passionate about the sports they stream as their subscribers. They’ve created a successful model that is a unique and potentially huge global opportunity.”