Recently, the company raised a seed round worth US$400,000 from U.S. funds. So far, the company hasn’t disclosed investors nor strategic plans. I’m currently looking into this further.
Who needs WiFi?
Without requiring an internet connection, the platform can broadcast notifications and messages to the public. To accomplish this, Sports Sonar taps into the ultrasound frequencies from stadium speakers. From there, it transports content directly to people’s smartphones, undetected by the human ear.
Whether in the form of notifications, special messages, original branded content such as trivia, or just enhancing matches by creating mass game experiences, Sports Sonar can do it all. Fans can even play real-time fantasy games during the live match.
The company can easily integrate itself into a third party app or simply function as a standalone.
First launched in Texas, originally sporting fans experimented with Sports Sonar at the Alamodome stadium in San Antonio. However, the founders are originally from Costa Rica, where all the development team is based.
Using gamification, the platform allows sports teams to better interact with fans while giving brands and sponsors closer reach and visibility.
The specific use case is certainly very interesting, and I believe the company has found a way to make everything work around the technology. All the while, the tech itself is definitely worth analyzing and could be used for multiple scenarios.
Stadiums are the perfect places to easily transmit data via sound due to the closeness of speakers. Moreover, stadiums tend to provide no shortage of sponsors for prospective monetization.
It almost seems as if Sports Sonar developed their sound transmitted data technology first and then they found a way to use it and monetize it. But still, worth appraising.
Back in October, Sports Sonar joined VelocityTX, a Texas-based acceleration program in partnership with their natal Parque Tech Incubator. Six other Latin American startups joined the accelerator from countries including Chile and Brazil.
Previously, Nick Hayward, Sports Sonar’s CEO, founded TicoFut, which is also a sports tech startup that facilitates worldwide virtual football games.
I talked to Allan Matarrita, Sports Sonar’s co-founder and CTO, in order to better understand the company’s status and here’s what he had to say. While part of the investment was provided by Invertup, the sole Costa Rican seed fund, they also had participation from US angels.
The transaction set the startup’s valuation to US$3.5 million, but they believe they’re already doubling it down due to some prompt successes and milestones.
“We must use this investment so that our product is fit to market, and fulfills the needs of different types of customers. Our goal is to reach several customers in three months, and with this investment, we will drive this.” said the founder.
Lastly, when asked about other potential use cases he said they’ve already thought about the education industry and convention centers, as well.