Boulder’s TeamSnap Acquires Mobile App, Keeps on Growing
TeamSnap has just snapped up another rival and is adding about 30,000 users to its roster.
The Boulder, CO-based startup makes software that sports teams, recreational leagues, and activity groups can use to create and manage rosters, coordinate schedules, track stats, inform players of schedule changes, and now track their team’s live scores and chat with other users. TeamSnap says it is used by 7 million people and more than 500,000 teams, clubs, and leagues.
On Wednesday it announced it acquired HomeTeam, a mobile app made by Silicon Valley-based Crescent Computing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition is the fourth TeamSnap has made since it was founded in 2009. TeamSnap is acquiring the app and HomeTeam’s user base, but no employees from Crescent Computing will be transferring to TeamSnap, CEO Dave DuPont said.
Creating mobile apps has been an increasingly important part of TeamSnap’s strategy over the past few years. The company started out focusing on connecting users through its website, and an executive said last year that it took a while to realize that mobile was the “breakthrough” for startups like TeamSnap. Once TeamSnap came to that realization, though, it began working to add features and acquire users. The apps are available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry.
TeamSnap also started looking to acquire competitors as part of its strategy to establish and expand its place in the market, DuPont said. Buying HomeTeam is inline with both parts of that strategy.
“Acquiring HomeTeam is a great step and helps us expand our mobile reach,” DuPont said. “More than any other time in our history, customers are excited about using TeamSnap’s mobile app. It’s fast, easy to use, and fits into their on-the-go mobile lifestyle.”
HomeTeam was an attractive opportunity because of its users, and the technology will help TeamSnap toward its larger ambitions.
“They had a solid number of customers and teams,” DuPont said. “We have 7 million customers and are looking to not only grow that, but also be leaders in the sports management tech market.”
To enhance its mobile apps, TeamSnap is working on new features, including one called TeamSnap Live, which currently is in beta. It adds the ability for spectators to update scores from the field, input stats, do play-by-play, and chat with users not at the game. They’ll also be able to share photos. The idea is to keep parents, family members, and teammates who have to miss a game up to date, no matter where they are.
DuPont views the new capabilities as important new features that will set the app apart and draw new users.
“We believe this is a key area,” he said. “TeamSnap Live answers the questions [late-arriving parents have about the game] and keeps parents who cannot make the event abreast. TeamSnap Live builds on crowdsourcing technology and is a huge part of our strategy to acquire new users and continue to make the product both innovative and a true time-saver for parents, coaches, and players.”
TeamSnap Live also could be lucrative for TeamSnap. The company uses a freemium model, allowing users to get its apps for free. Of course, the free versions come with limited features, and different tiers add on capabilities like e-mail reminders, text alerts, online billing, payment tracking, and the ability to track statistics over a season.
What TeamSnap is doing appears to be paying off. The company has grown from 5 million users at the start of 2014, and it has raised nearly $11.9 million from investors. The biggest investment came early this year, when the Foundry Group led a $7.5 million Series B round. Other investors include Torstar, Trinity Ventures, Toba Capital, and Harris Barton.
TeamSnap’s sustained growth stands in contrast to the companies it has acquired. An example is its May 2013 acquisition of Weplay’s users and tech. The New York City startup at one point would have seemed to be the favorite in the competition, but TeamSnap was able to overtake it. Weplay had about 2.25 million users at the time, and the deal doubled the number of TeamSnap users.
Weplay raised a lot of money early on, bringing in $15 million within a year of its 2008 launch, according to SEC documents. It also had big name investors—MLB Advanced Media (the digital media division of Major League Baseball) and the sports division of the Creative Artists Agency—and deals with superstars such as LeBron James and Peyton Manning.
It was a different approach from TeamSnap’s focus on building and improving its product and methodically adding users.
“They focused a bit on the flash. Flash is great as long as you’ve got a great product, and we focused on the product,” DuPont said at the time. “It’s not saying they did things the wrong way, it’s saying that we did all the right things by focusing on the product.”
Meanwhile, TeamSnap continues to add to its own team. The company now employs 50 people full-time, up from about 35 at the start of the year, and it plans to keep hiring.