Sports Loft Invests in Slate, Satisfi and Fevo
“An investor trying to make a decision based upon a Powerpoint deck, a data room and a bunch of meetings doesn’t have half the insight that you do on these companies” said one of our advisory board members as we were finishing up a call. They were right.
With every company that we work with at Sports Loft, I can remember how we met them, the key moments that reflected how their businesses have evolved as well as the successes (and challenges) they have had on their way. That insight, and resulting confidence, has been the cornerstone of our decisions to invest in Slate’s Seed round, Satisfi’s Series A round, and Fevo’s Series C – and with more Sports Loft investments to come in the next few months.
Our investments result from having worked closely with these companies at Sports Loft over the past few years, and the insight that has given us. Satisfi Labs joined Sports Loft in December 2019. We’d first met Donny and the team on a basketball court at St Louis University three years earlier in December 2016 (it was utterly freezing outside!) as they were coming to the end of the second Stadia Ventures cohort. I was immediately taken with how their “AI customer assistant” could provide a way to improve fans’ experience at the stadium and at home, as well as providing a sponsorable asset for brands. Fast forward to today and the company has secured strategic partnerships with MLB, received investment from Google and evolved its AI engine to answer a broader range of fan questions across ticket and merch sales, content, quizzes and more. The extent to which Satisfi can pull answers from all corners of an organisation (website, internal data, third party sources) to answer questions is unparalleled, giving users a quality experience and in turn providing teams with valuable insights and a more impactful way to allocate internal resource. This quality and hard to replicate technology, as well as our experience with customers who are continually finding new use cases, has convinced us that Donny is well set to continue growing Satisfi rapidly across the sports market and beyond.
Fevo joined Sports Loft in February 2020 after I was introduced to Colin Casey, who then introduced me to CEO Ari Daie, who then introduced me to CFO Himanshu Kothari who then introduced me to CCO Josh Rose. What followed was numerous conversations with their management team and investors in both New York and London, as we discussed the shared commerce and group-ticketing proposition and how Fevo’s clients were applying this in the US and could do so internationally. For someone used to organising group outings to the cricket, and the associated headache of chasing people for cash, Fevo’s solution made so much sense for fans. What I learnt was it also makes sense for teams - not only could they reward organisers and upsell ticket buyers, they could also gather data on all members of a group, not just the purchaser. This has allowed teams to target all members of a group - ensuring first time fans have the best possible experience, and providing a means of continuing the conversation with them after the event. The company’s traction across live events to date, the calibre of the team we have seen them assemble and the extremely positive reaction of multiple teams and event owners that we have introduced them to, has convinced us that Ari and the team are set to continue their rapid growth.
I was first introduced to Slate in 2019, with them subsequently joining Sports Loft in August 2020. At that stage, they had a handful of NFL teams as clients and a simple proposition: enabling teams to create social media content incredibly easily and totally on-brand. As the company has grown and their client base expanded internationally, the wonderful thing is that the Slate team have remained focused on making life easier for social media managers and we have seen first-hand how many different use cases there are for this technology and the reaction of potential clients. Another big factor in our decision to invest in Slate has been our experience of working with the management team - their “up-for-it” attitude has been a delight and has created a hugely positive impact on potential clients, investors and employees. We’re excited to support Michael, Will and Eric as they continue their mission.
Our close working relationship with these companies has enabled us to really understand the potential in their business - to see their market fit and to witness how they operate in practice. This has given us more valuable insights with which to make future investment decisions than any powerpoint deck or dataroom ever could. We have seen how they react when things go well and not so well, and in turn have seen the strengths and weaknesses of the management teams (and yes whilst they are stellar teams, they inevitably have weaknesses, all companies do). We’ve had first-hand feedback from prospective customers and investors about their proposition, how it was presented and how it met (or didn’t meet) their needs. All of this has given us the insight and confidence needed to make these investments.
Going forward, we will continue to invest in Sports Loft companies where the insight that we have shows a clear opportunity for the company to grow and gives us the belief that the management teams are building businesses with significant potential. These investments will normally be opportunistic – i.e. when they are completing a round that the company is doing anyway – but it give us an opportunity to further support the companies we are working with. We’re really excited to be able to invest in Slate, Satisfi and Fevo and you can expect to see more investments from us in Sports Loft companies in the year ahead.
As always, for more information you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Our close working relationship with these companies has enabled us to really understand the potential in their business - to see their market fit and to witness how they operate in practice.