SportsHero Scores US$2.4M, Launches Asia’s First Real-Time Sports Prediction App
· New funding: Funding led by Australia-based Nevada Iron Ltd. (ASX:NVI) – Nevada Iron is acquiring SportsHero to accelerate SportsHero’s ASX listing via a reverse takeover by August 2016.1
· Proven track record: SportsHero formed under Singapore’s MyHero, which also owns and develops TradeHero. TradeHero has been ranked the world’s #1 finance app in over 91 countries with more than 8 million users (App Annie). 2
· Proven leadership: Helmed by Dinesh Bhatia, 25+ years’ as entrepreneur, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 20153 – the only Singaporean to date.4
· Vision: To be the #1 social network dedicated to sports prediction.
SINGAPORE, 25 May 2016— SportsHero (SportsHero.mobi), Asia’s first real-time fantasy sports app and social prediction platform, has launched with US$2.4 million in funding. Investment in SportsHero was led by Australia-based Nevada Iron Ltd. (ASX:NVI). Funding will be used to drive expansion across Asia, including priority markets China, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as Europe, South America, and the U.S. It will also drive partner and user acquisition. SportsHero looks to accelerate its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) by August 2016 via a reverse takeover of Nevada Iron.
The app is the new incarnation of FootballHero, which already counts over 250,000 users.5 These users will migrate over to SportsHero. SportsHero has an average daily engagement time of approximately 10 minutes per user. It allows sports fans to make better predictions on the outcomes of games by harnessing the power of all the other sports fans in its social community with validated prediction results and social sentiment. Sports included in the app at launch are football (soccer), and baseball (Major League Baseball), with Tennis, American Football (National Football League), and Basketball (NBA), with hockey (NHL) in development. Particular emphasis will be placed on local leagues and teams, with a view to building the overall sporting culture and ecosystem in each market.
SportsHero is also a social competition platform where top ranked fans stand to win daily, weekly, and monthly prizes. Fans can interact with fellow sports fans on the SportsHero network in a number of ways to make any game more interesting and competitive. Brands can tap SportsHero to engage its user base, opening official accounts with sponsored content. The app will also feature in-app virtual currency available via SportsHero Points and Golden Tickets, exchangeable for merchandise, event tickets, and other items on the SportsHero website (SportsHero.mobi).
Dinesh Bhatia, CEO and Co-founder of SportsHero, said, “We have seen very promising success and engagement with TradeHero in gamifying financial learning and stock trading, driven by community engagement. There’s a very strong correlation between finance and sports – we saw the opportunity to replicate this success with SportsHero, tapping into the fast growing Asian and global esports markets. The vision is to be the number one social network dedicated to sports in the world. We will do this by helping fans and brands monetize their passion for sports through SportsHero.”
Key drivers behind SportsHero’s growth are the rise in sports prediction and the global eSports market, particularly in Asia. This growth is supported by Asia’s fast-growing mobile penetration, as well as the increasing prevalence of a sporting culture.
SportsHero is well placed to compliment traditional sports revenues by opening up new revenue streams for brands. Newzoo estimates the eSports market to be valued at US$463 million in 2016 and will reach US$1.1 billion by 2019.6 The same report shows that the Asia-Pacific region will account for 44 percent of the world’s overall eSports audience in 2016.6 North America is the largest market in the world, with Asia expected to be the fastest growing market, accelerating at over 20 percent annual growth rate and over 29 percent annual revenue growth rate from 2012 to 2017.6 Key to supporting the growth in eSports, particularly for SportsHero’s mobile app, is rapid smartphone penetration. Smartphone adoption in Asia Pacific will nearly double from one billion unique users in 2014 to two billion users by 2019, according to Forrester’s estimates.7
Over the next 12 to 18 months, SportsHero plans to roll out support for additional sports including golf, table tennis, and badminton. The app will continue to be focused on making more people enjoy games, matches, and competitions by getting them more involved in predicting the outcome based on social sentiment on the platform, as well as personal sentiment – all within a fun and engaging environment.
With a Heads of Agreement live on 19 May, SportsHero is expected to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) via a reverse takeover of Nevada Iron Ltd. (ASX:NVI) in H2 2016. Investors interested to acquire a stake in SportsHero can now do so by investing in Nevada Iron Ltd.
1For the official ASX announcement detailing the Heads of Agreement between SportsHero and Nevada Irons Pte Ltd. Dated 19 May, please click here.
2Source: App Annie data for TradeHero and 全民股神 (TradeHero’s Chinese language app)
3Source: Fast Company Magazine: Most Creative People in Business in 2015: Dinesh Bhatia, For teaching aspiring investors to make the leap, Published May 11, 2015
4Source: International Enterprise Singapore: TradeHero: Trading Up, Published November 6, 2015
5Source: Source: Localytics data for SportsHero
6Source: NewZoo (2016 Global Esports Market Report) – Published in January 2016
7Source: Forrester (Asia Pacific Mobile And Smartphone Adoption Forecast, 2014 To 2019) – Published July 20, 2015