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Nov 10, 2021
Calgary-based StellarAlgo has secured $16.5 million CAD in Series A capital to further its SaaS customer data platform, which helps sports organizations better connect with their fans. The round was led by Toronto-based Carallas Holdings, the investment arm of Carfin Inc. and Orlando Corporation, a major Canadian landlord of industrial and commercial real estate with over 47 million square feet of industrial, office, and retail property. Other new investors in StellarAlgo’s Series A round include Newbound VC and Bleacher Report founder Dave Finocchio. The round also included follow-on investment from existing investors Accelerate Fund II, Bluesky Equities, and InterGen Capital. StellarAlgo has also been backed by the likes of James Lochrie, the co-founder of Thin Air Labs and Wave, who co-led the Calgary startup’s $1.5 million seed extension in 2020. StellarAlgo claims it reached profitability in 2020, despite the pandemic mostly shutting down the live audience industry. The startup’s Series A round, which closed in October and consisted primarily of equity capital, included $3.5 million in debt from RBCx and $1 million in secondary funding. The raise brings StellarAlgo’s total funding to date to $19 million. The idea behind StellarAlgo is to help its customers retain and engage with fans in a more personalized way. StellarAlgo’s SaaS platform helps customers organize, analyze, and leverage fan data from a variety of online and in-person sources including email marketing, ticketing, and more. The tech allows sports teams, sponsors, leagues, and other live audience businesses to create fan profiles in order to allow organizations to better segment and personalize their fan outreaches, as well as to measure performance. Since it was founded in 2016, bootstrapping for the first couple of years, StellarAlgo has signed a wide range of major sports leagues and teams as customers. More than 85 sports and live audience properties and partners throughout North America and Europe use StellarAlgo, including the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Bucks, and the United States (US) Open Tennis Championship. “Live audience businesses are coming back to full capacities but there is a tremendous opportunity to build better, and build new relationships in this new world,” StellarAlgo co-founder and CEO Vince Ircandia told BetaKit. “Many of our customers are using us as their guiding light as they transition from event sales businesses to fan-centric content companies that grow long term, trusted and valuable relationships with their audiences.” Ircandia said the startup raised its latest round after seeing increased demand from its partners in the sports, live events, enthusiasts brand, and sponsor spaces. According to the CEO, StellarAlgo also saw an opportunity to “better support the end-to-end fan management across a variety of new digital channels,” including streaming, e-commerce, and betting. The need for StellarAlgo’s tech appears to run deep. The startup claims it reached profitability in 2020, despite the pandemic mostly shutting down the live audience industry. “Our platform became the go-to place for properties to understand fans as their engagement patterns evolved over the past 12 months,” said Ircandia. Now, armed with fresh capital, the startup plans to invest in product development by enhancing its data offerings and fan personalization tools. The startup also aims to partner with more brands supporting the teams and leagues it serves. StellarAlgo, which currently has 46 full-time employees, plans to double its headcount over the next 12 to 18 months, bolster its presence in the US and Toronto, as well as open a European headquarters in 2022. —