Albion Ventures invests in InCrowd

Albion Ventures LLP (‘Albion Ventures’), one of the largest independent venture capital investors in the UK, has led a £1.65m funding round in the mobile fan engagement and sports marketing company InCrowd Sports (“InCrowd”). Albion Ventures are investing alongside Sky and a number of angel investors.

The management team is led by Aidan Cooney who previously set up the world’s leading sports data company, Opta, also backed by Albion Ventures. He is joined by two IMG executives and a technology group borne out of the University of Sussex Innovation Centre.

InCrowd develops mobile apps for professional sports clubs underpinned by the unique technology solution developed by the team at the University of Sussex. The technology solves the problem of poor connectivity in crowded places and allows phones to share all available connectivity, rather that compete for it.

InCrowd apps contain real-time content, match analysis and interactive fan games which directly engage sport’s most committed fans. InCrowd currently works with 10 football clubs including Middlesbrough and Watford and will be investing heavily in technology to create digital sponsorship rights for clubs and leagues. With over 50% of the UK’s advertising spent on digital, this will be a major growth area for sport sponsorship over the next five years.

Ed Lascelles, Partner at Albion Ventures said:

“We are delighted to be working with Aidan again after our successful time together with Opta. He and his team at InCrowd have a huge opportunity to transform and enrich fans’ experience at live sports events, while at the same time offering rights holders and brands hyper targeted access to a large and valuable market.”

Emma Lloyd, Director of Corporate Development & Strategic Investments at Sky, said:

“This is the latest in a series of Sky investments in pioneering technology companies, which we know bring real benefits to customers. We’re really looking forward to working with InCrowd, a company that shares our passion for innovation, and for finding new and exciting ways to deliver content.”

Aidan Cooney, CEO of InCrowd said:

“This round of funding not only enables us to invest in the technology needed to improve experiences for fans, clubs and sponsors but also brings with it a number of incredible people who will help us on our journey.”

ENDS

For further enquiries please contact:

Patrick Evans / David Sells (for Albion Ventures)

+44 (0)20 7282 2863 or Patrick.evans@citigatedr.co.uk / david.sells@citigatedr.co.uk

 

Archie Woodhead (for InCrowd)

+44 (0)20 3137 9873 or archie.woodhead@incrowdsports.com

 

About Albion Ventures

Albion Ventures LLP is a leading venture capital investor which has been managing investments in small unquoted UK companies since 1996. Albion has over £270 million under management across six Venture Capital Trusts and a portfolio of around 60 businesses.

Albion Ventures looks to invest £1-10m in growing businesses within a variety of sectors including healthcare, technology, environmental, travel and leisure, and asset-based businesses. Our approach is to provide strategic advice as well as financial resources in order to realise the full potential of the business invested in and so create returns for our shareholders.

Albion Ventures is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company, serving 21 million customers across five countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. Sky offers the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.

Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of £4.9 billion. The group employs 30,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).

About InCrowd

InCrowd is a sports marketing company that uses technology to bring fans closer to the teams they are passionate about. They build club apps based on proprietary TribeHive Connect software, which networks all phones with the app installed, boosting connectivity in sports stadiums, dramatically improving fan’ access to data.

InCrowd enables fans to directly participate via their smart phone, expressing their views, opinions and predictions to each other and via the stadium’s big screen. This also provides a platform for clubs to build one to one relationships with their fan base, whether they’re watching from the stands, the pub, or their home.

Nottingham Forest launch official club app with InCrowd

Download for iPhone – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nottingham-forest-official/id1059689288?mt=8

Download for Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.tribehive.fli.nottingham&hl=en_GB

  • Live scores, league tables, fan voting, match statistics, news and video content and much more now available in fans’ pockets.
  • All content can now be accessed 24/7 wherever fans are, including at the City ground through InCrowd’s stadium connectivity software.

Fans now have access to an array of exclusive Nottingham Forest content thanks to the release of their new official club app.

Users will be able to access content throughout the week, on match day, at home as well as in a packed City Ground, thanks to the app’s unique and powerful connectivity software. 

The latest crucial club news and behind the scenes content can now be accessed 24/7 both in text and video format, directly from the fans’ pockets.

The latest travel information to and from the City Ground is available through the live and up-to-date travel section and fans will also be able to access and post to Twitter, check the in-game live match statistics as well as vote for their Man of the Match wherever they are. Other interactive gamification elements will be made available in the new year

For those not lucky enough to be at the game, live scores and audio commentary courtesy of Forest Player (subscription required) will be available to keep fans up-to-date. Video highlights will be accessible for those fans who have missed the day’s events or for those that just want to relive the action. 

Forest’s progress can be seen, live, within the dynamic league table feature as well as all previous results and upcoming fixtures for the rest of the season.

Tickets for upcoming fixtures and all club merchandise can now be bought via the club shop section within the app. 

Ben White, Media & Communications Manager at Nottingham Forest commented “We are always looking for opportunities to expand our digital offering to fans. With the combination of club news as it happens, the range of content and features, and of course the connectivity technology, this is part of our commitment to optimise the Nottingham Forest fan experience.’

Aidan Cooney, CEO at InCrowd said, ‘Nottingham Forest are setting a benchmark by embarking upon an exciting new venture to provide their fans with the best mobile club platform on the market today. We are extremely pleased to have been a part of this process.”

InCrowd’s Archie Woodhead named as Leader in the Sports Industry NextGen list

Our very own Archie Woodhead has been named as one of 28 leaders in the much sought after Sports Industry NextGen list.

The 28 individuals showed they had the potential, the drive, the motivation, the commitment and the integrity to be named a Sport Industry NextGen Leader, who will all be entitled to the Leadership Package, to help the group grow and develop together.

The Sport Industry NextGen Leaders were selected after a thorough steering process and will be assessed in person by the judges at an educational and training morning on Wednesday 27th January via a series of group challenges, individual tasks and interviews.

Read more at http://www.sportindustry.biz/events/next-gen/2015/nextgenleaders#udUYbUsUmwZFMSTZ.99https://t.co/W7oGbdlVNO

Football Business Awards: Mark of Excellence

The first Digital Stadium app we produced has been awarded a mark of excellence from the prestigious Football Business Awards, edging out rather more famous apps, such as from FIFA and Arsenal. We’re very pleased and excited that all the hard work by everyone involved in the Digital Stadium project has been recognised.

BBC South Today News Feature

The Guardian: TribeHive one of Brighton’s leading startups