TeamSnap to Add League Services, Double User Base After $10M Funding

TeamSnap has always done well at biding its time.

The six-year-old Boulder, CO-based startup provides Web and mobile apps meant to help players, coaches, parents, and league officials, among many types of teams, manage everything from rosters to practices to game schedules.

Rather than focusing on corporate partnerships or gaining users quickly for advertising purposes, TeamSnap has focused on creating a user experience that CEO Dave DuPont says leads people to convert from free trial to paid subscription. About 35 percent of people go from the company’s free trial to a paid plan.

“We knew the person using our software wasn’t a technological geek, it was a soccer mom,” DuPont says. “That’s a function of the value we’re providing.”

While TeamSnap is not alone in the market, it is one of the largest remaining online tools for sports team management, partly because it has acquired the other big players. In 2013, it bought WePlay and its 2.25 million users for an undisclosed price, bringing its base to about 5 million at the time.

Today, it has about 9 million nominal users and 6 million active ones. TeamSnap’s slow, steady growth has successfully attracted venture capital funding. Last week, it received a $10 million Series B funding round led by Northgate Capital, with participation from two new investors: the Colorado Impact Fund and Crawley Ventures. Existing investor Foundry Group also joined the round.

Part of what may attract investors to TeamSnap are the subscription fees, which range from $60 to $130 per team annually. The company is using the venture funding to grow its user base nationally and internationally, both through marketing and by building out the services it offers, DuPont says.

For free, TeamSnap offers such services as scheduling games, messaging systems, and roster maintenance, which has been its bread-and-butter for attracting people. Users can pay for tools such as e-mail reminders, payment tracking and collection, weather forecasts, and stat tracking.

The tool targets school kids, though it can be used by any type of team. TeamSnap had previously raised almost $12 million in funding.

TeamSnap also will use the recent funding to offer services to new groups: the organizations that teams play in, such as clubs or leagues. Services might include collecting fees that teams pay to a league, scheduling games between teams, and marketing, DuPont says.

“We’re focused on providing capabilities for those larger organizations, but at the same time linking those functions of TeamSnap itself at the team level,” he says.

As the company adds new types of users and more international customers, DuPont says he expects the user base to reach 20 million by the end of 2016, and 40 million the year after. About 65 percent of active users and revenues are currently from the U.S., he says.

At that point, TeamSnap may find itself with new forms of revenue opportunities. Like any user-driven company, TeamSnap gathers plenty of data about its customers, from big details like age to small details like the position they play on a team (a forward in hockey or a catcher in baseball).

Companies like Facebook and Google utilize those details about their users to offer person-specific advertising. If you recently searched for new basketball shoes using Google, you might see an ad pop up for them.

For TeamSnap, traditional display advertising is a small part of its free, unpaid service. It may stay that way. A different type of service, such as offering its app subscribers the ability to buy things like bats, gloves, socks or shoes, could become a large part of the business, according to DuPont.

“The team might supply the uniform, but maybe you’re going to want a jacket with the team insignia,” DuPont says. “We have the opportunity to monetize our users in different ways beyond subscriptions. I’m not really thinking about advertising per se in the usual sense of the word. If you provide somebody the opportunity to acquire what they need for their activity, at the moment they need it, you’re providing a service.”

The strategy extends beyond products, too. Complimentary software applications, travel and lodging, and food and beverages are just a few other offerings TeamSnap could provide, DuPont says.

“That’s not what we’re focused on today, but when we’re 20 million to 40 million users, we start to be at a critical mass where it starts providing those opportunities,” DuPont says. “I cannot predict the impact that providing access to these products and services will provide in what time frame, but I do feel it will be significant.”

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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