Intel Deepens Move into Sports Tech with ScoreStream Investment

ScoreStream, a five-year-old startup that created a social media platform for crowd-sourcing local sports scores, has raised $3.7 million in a Series A round that includes Intel Capital as an investor.

According to a recent ScoreStream statement, San Diego’s Avalon Ventures, a longtime ScoreStream investor, led the round, and was joined by Sinclair Broadcasting, Verizon Ventures, and R/GA Ventures, the investment arm of the advertising agency R/GA. Including the latest round, ScoreStream has raised a total of $6.8 million since it was founded in 2012.

CEO Derrick Oien said Friday that ScoreStream recently completed a Verizon R/GA digital “Media Tech Venture Studio” program in New York City that included $100,000 in funding for each of the eight startups admitted to the accelerator. Verizon and R/GA announced the program in March, with an express goal of cultivating new startups and innovation in media and advertising.

ScoreStream (a 2016 Xconomy San Diego tech startup to watch) said the latest funding would enable the company to enhance its products and extend the capabilities of its technologies.

Oien founded ScoreStream to provide a Web platform that would enable fans at high school football games to use their smartphones to post their scores. Since then, the company has extended its reach by signing syndication deals with strategic partners like the Associated Press and iHeartMedia’s national radio network, and has expanded its content to include community college and middle school sports. After moving into Canada, the company also had been expanding into the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.

Yet Oien said ScoreStream has just 10 employees. “It’s funny,” Oien explained. “We’ve created the technology platform [and some people work on that], and a couple people work on business development. But with crowdsourcing, the content takes care of itself.”

ScoreStream says its mobile app distributes crowdsourced scores, photos, video, and chat from over 10,000 games per week from around the world.

Intel and ScoreStream have also entered into a business collaboration agreement, under which they will collaborate regarding certain technical, marketing, and sales activities. The statement from ScoreStream quotes James Carwana of Intel Sports saying, “Intel Sports plans to collaborate with ScoreStream to enhance the fan engagement and personalization experience around this hyper-local data on a global basis.”

Oien noted that Intel also has been making some big moves into sports. The chipmaker recently announced a partnership with the International Olympic Committee intended to bring “new levels of fan interaction through leading-edge technology” to the Olympic Games. Intel also has announced recent deals with the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.

At the media tech studio program in New York, Oien said, ScoreStream worked with Verizon’s digital media businesses on product development and messaging, and with R/GA on ScoreStream’s branding, strategic marketing, design, and related issues. Oien also hinted of synergies to come, noting that Verizon completed its $4.5 billion buyout of Yahoo in June, and has operated AOL since that $4.4 billion deal closed in 2015.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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