StellarAlgo raises $16.5M Series A to redefine the future of fan engagement
November 16, 2021
Blog
announcement | CEO message | Series A

The facts

Last week we announced a $16.5M Series A funding round led by Carallas Holdings, with participation from Newbound VC, ex-Bleacher Report Founder David Finocchio, ex-NBA TMBO executive Ben Gumpert, and Sportradar Board Member Hafiz Lalani. These funders will join existing investors, including Bluesky Equities, Accelerate Fund II, and InterGen Capital, that also returned to participate in the round. The round also includes $3.5M in venture debt from RBC’s new RBCx program. This funding means we get to invest heavily in our mission of making it easier for sports franchises, sponsors, enthusiast brands, and live audience organizations to connect with the world’s most passionate audiences. 

After spending time as an executive with AEG and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, I found it increasingly challenging for our business to understand and engage with our fans on a personal level. A combination of data warehousing, CRM, and marketing automation platforms existed in the market, but it was frustratingly piecemeal to deliver a consistent, personalized fan experience. 

Recognizing the opportunity to fill this need, StellarAlgo was born in August 2016. What began in my apartment as a simple fan insight and no-code segmentation tool has since grown into the leading customer cloud solution for the sport and entertainment ecosystem. A two-product combination—comprising a Data Warehouse and Customer Data Platform—used by more than 85 major properties across North America and Europe; we now impact over 100-million unique fans (representing more than40-billion unique data points) every single day, and our revenue has grown by 2X year-over-year since launch. 

As technology becomes more complex, marketers, analytics, and sales teams require a single comprehensive solution to power all elements of a personalized fan experience. Not to mention, there are so many new opportunities for fans to engage with sport and live entertainment—such as gambling, OTT streaming, NFTs, player content, and more—that teams can leverage to dramatically boost fan enthusiasm, participation, and loyalty.

How did we do it?

A number of elements went into getting us to this point—first was our obsession with listening to and learning from our customers. Working hand-in-hand with you, our partners, has taken StellarAlgo’s platform to new heights, propelling us to develop and introduce game-changing features and more than 100 integrations that finally make it easy for organizations to scale their valuable relationships with fans. 

Second, we knew solving fan marketing problems with data and technology would never be easy. We designed our platform and culture to ensure speed and flexibility, resulting in a bi-weekly release schedule that enables us to iterate, improve, and deliver in a tight partnership-style feedback loop with our customers. The result: a powerful, easy-to-use platform that’s ready to meet the needs of both your business and your fans. 

Finally, anchored by our three core values—having a growth mindset, being self-galvanizing, and knowing that we are greater together—we’ve built a team of more than 50 of the most passionate, curious, and talented people in SaaS; our people love working on Team Stellar and are devoted to innovating on the future of fan engagement and solving your toughest challenges. 

Why raise this capital?

While we’ve experienced sustained growth over the past five years, we know there’s still a ton of work to be done and that a massive opportunity continues to exist for the industry. The modern fan continues to rapidly evolve, and the vast majority of today’s customers expect personalization. 

As technology becomes more complex, marketers, analytics, and sales teams require a single comprehensive solution to power all elements of a personalized fan experience. Not to mention, there are so many new opportunities for fans to engage with sport and live entertainment—such as gambling, OTT streaming, NFTs, player content, and more—that teams can leverage to dramatically boost fan enthusiasm, participation, and loyalty. At StellarAlgo, we’re already creating value and changing the way the industry understands and intervenes across this customer journey, but we want to do even more. 

To start with, this capital will go directly toward investing in capabilities that make it even easier for our partners to understand and engage with their fans and drive fan lifetime value. This includes more integrations, further investment into our fast-growing Data Warehouse product, streamlining the user experience (UX), enhanced fan propensity modeling, and new features—like our customer journeys and audience segment recommender toolsets—that make it easy for you to identify new revenue opportunities, and understand and activate your fanbase.  

Our platform is essential when migrating from an event sales business to a year-round fan lifetime value-maximizing machine. As much as our tools are an essential enabler of creating tangible value out of your fan data, we also pride ourselves on being a true partner—one that goes beyond just providing the technology. Our partnerships have become major accelerators for creating digital transformation within the organizations we work with. We will be investing even more in the support services executives need to shift their business from one focused on event sales to one that maximizes the year-round value of their fan universe. We believe that marketers, sales, and analytics people should be viewed as the revenue generators they are, and so to that end we’ll also be investing heavily in supporting them. This hands-on commitment involves doubling our workforce and bolstering our Toronto and US office presence while also opening a European HQ in 2022.  

Finally, we continue to see increasing inbound demand from new nodes of the sports and entertainment ecosystem, such as marketing partners (sponsors) and enthusiast brands, as well as from new geographies. Our unique capabilities and vast fan data assets make it possible for businesses aspiring to be digital-first to better connect and collaborate with their fans and customers. In support of this growth, we’re excited to launch new products to augment our ability to specifically support decision-makers in these markets. 

Thank YOU 

We didn’t get to this point on our own—we’re grateful to you, our many enterprise customers who have been and continue to be the true believers who saw the immense potential of our vision and the value of our technology. We will continue to do everything in our power to help you grow. 

To our teams across Canada and the U.S.—the endless lines of code, the late nights hunched over a keyboard, and the hard work you put in every single day are why we’ve made it this far; I, and the entire executive team, couldn’t be prouder to work with such a passionate and motivated group. Thank you. 

There are more than 2 billion avid sports fans globally, and they’re the most passionate people on earth. StellarAlgo exists to power the exceptional, personalized experiences that make it easier to be a fan than ever before. I can’t say enough about how our passion has grown where it comes to making it easier for fans to authentically and meaningfully connect and engage with their favorite teams, brands, and events—in short, for fans to be fans. With your support, we will continue to innovate and bring world-class technology to drive this mission. 

Let’s go! 
Vince 

 

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