Streaming sports startup FuboTV raises $55 million
When it comes to streaming TV, FuboTV wants to be the place sports fans go when they are looking to catch up on their favorite sports league or team. To expand its channel lineup and grow its customer base, FuboTV has raised $55 million in Series C funding led by Northzone, with participation from 21st Century Fox, Sky and Scripps Networks Interactive. That brings total funding to $75 million since being founded in 2014.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of streaming video providers entering the market. While some are just trying to re-create a smaller cable TV bundle, others — like FuboTV — are going after specific verticals of content.
Sports — and especially live sports — are a huge business, but due to licensing fees many streaming providers skimp on those networks and their coverage. Since FuboTV is going after only sports fanatics, it can afford to spend on licensing sports networks exclusively, without shelling out for more traditional broadcast or cable networks.
With apps on iPhone, iPad, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, FuboTV has been delivering streaming video to sports fans over the last few years. By focusing on sports exclusively, the company is hoping to serve a large market other streaming video providers are largely ignoring.
But the company has pivoted a little from its original mission. When it first launched, FuboTV mostly focused on soccer, offering up a wide variety of matches for fans of the sport. But it’s greatly expanded the number of channels and types of sports available to viewers.
By reaching agreement with Fox and NBC Universal, the company now has dozens of sports-related channels viewers can tune into. With those deals, the company has also changed its product offering: It sunset the $10/month soccer skinny bundle it previously offered and now sells a fatter $35 package of more than 55 channels.
In many ways that means FuboTV has to start over. Before it stopped marketing the smaller bundle, the company had signed up more than 75,000 subscribers. Now it’s in a position where it hopes to appeal to a wider group of sports fans that aren’t just soccer hooligans.
The funding will go a long way toward helping it do that. According to CEO David Gandler, the company will be increasing its marketing spend and use the funding also to develop new products that are designed specifically for people watching sports matches and related content.