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Today: July 21, 2024
January 10, 2024
1 min read

Revolutionizing VC’s Due Diligence: Sports Tech Investor Raises $44M

TLDR:

  • Sports industry veteran Craig Thompson is raising $44 million for a new sports tech fund called Match Ventures.
  • Match Ventures seeks to back 20 companies with initial checks ranging from $250,000 to $2 million and follow-on funding.

Sports industry vet Craig Thompson is raising $44 million for a new sports tech fund, Match Ventures. The general partners are Thompson, the founder of Mindspring Capital, a sports tech-focused investor; and Anton Brams, who is also managing partner of Mindspring Sport, an advisory and incubator led by him and Thompson. Also leading Match Ventures is investment head Petr Zhukov, founder of the EU’s Indigo Sports Tech, a sports-focused VC.

Match Ventures has raised about a third of the fund with a goal of closing it within a year. They’re seeking to back 20 companies with initial checks ranging from $250,000 to $2 million and follow-on funding. Sports has been a red-hot sector for investors at early and later stages, with tech giants like Amazon spending big for sports rights, the expansion of sports betting, and more.

Match Ventures is based in Luxembourg, where the partners believe they’ll have easier entrée to plentiful sports tech investment dollars available outside the US. “There’s an explosion right now of new leagues and new sports,” Thompson said. “And all sports need technology.”

Match Ventures is among other VCs reexamining their approach to due diligence. Instead of taking a couple months to evaluate a company, Match Ventures plans to advise for six to 12 months before deciding whether to fund a startup, an approach Thompson and Brams have been taking at Mindspring Sport and call “deep due diligence.” They’ve been advising 15 companies in this way, with 10 that are ready to be funded.

Their pitch for a more deliberate process might be an easier sell given today’s tough funding climate, even for some parts of the red-hot sports sector. Match Ventures leaders also bring a combination of sports industry, data, and financial experience that would be valued by many founders.

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