Sports discovery and booking platform goSporto has raised $30,000 (Rs 20 lakh) in seed funding from Singapore-based angel investor Naveen Gupta, one of its co-founders said.
The startup is also in final stages of talks with three to four institutional investors to raise as much as $1 million in a pre-Series A round, Vivek Kumar told Techcircle.in. "We expect to close the pre-Series A round by April end," he added.
Kumar said the startup plans to use the funds to be raised for increasing outreach through online marketing and offline events to get more users; hiring, product innovation, and scaling up presence in multiple cities.
Gupta is a former global head of foreign exchange at Standard Chartered. Sportz Interactive CEO Arvind Iyengar is one of the early investors in goSporto and is on board as an advisor and mentor.
The startup, recently re-branded from InstaSports, was founded by Nikhil Jha, Vivek Kumar, Rajendra Bansal and Sumit Pokhriyal in September 2015.
Owned and operated by Free Hit Technologies Pvt Ltd, goSporto allows sports enthusiasts to discover sports activities, book grounds and courts online, find sports partners and teams, and track and share their progress through its website and app. The app was launched in the first week of March.
Jha, an IIT Bombay graduate, was working with EY as a consultant before teaming up with his friend Kumar to start SportsWave, which is the offline predecessor to goSporto, in 2011. Other co-founders Bansal and Pokhriyal worked together at Buildzar. Bansal also worked with Amazon and Goibibo group while Pokhriyal graduated from Delhi's Netaji Subash Institute of Technology and earlier worked with startups such as Unicommerce and Algoworks.
The startup claims to have about 100 venues listed on its platform. It is currently operational in Delhi NCR region, and is planning to have presence across four Tier I cities and list 500 sports venues soon.
It gets 10 per cent commission from sports venue owners and event organisers for every booking that happens through the platform. The average ticket size for one person is as low as Rs 500 and can go as high as Rs 10,000, Kumar said.
In addition, the platform allows sports and related brands to put relevant embedded ads. It offers white-labeled products for entities such as townships, government, event organizers, schools and colleges to manage their sports infrastructure and activities.
"Apart from a self-publishing ad platform for sports brands, which allows laser-targeted segmentation, we also plan to increase our white-label sales," Kumar said. "We are already doing pilot projects with the Kerala government and a real-estate developer for our white-label offerings."
On competition, Kumar said there are some online booking platforms for sports venues such as Playo in Bangalore and BookMySports in Delhi NCR, but these sites do not offer 'real-time' booking, and act as requisitioning platforms. Some apps provide access to a network of sports enthusiasts such as Spyn in Mumbai. Sites such as CricHQ provide content and match statistics.