Edinburgh's Fanbase has closed a £1 million round led by payment service and software provider SaltPay.
Fanbase's sports franchise digitisation software enables mobile ticketing for spectator sports, allowing fans to pass through the turnstiles using a barcode on their smartphone. It also collects personalised audience data and lets sports teams design additional products aligned to their brand.
While mobile tickets are already prevalent in transport and music concerts, the first premier-tier UK football club to follow suit was apparently Swansea City FC in November 2021. Other teams have experimented with ticket resales through digital channels, helping to fill seats that'd usually be empty come match day.
A participant in Microsoft's startup accelerator, Fanbase's platform was recently upgraded with back-of-house API functionality for executing automated ticket subscriptions, renewals and seat allocations.
Fanbase serves teams in various UK sports, including football, rugby and netball. It recently clinched its first deal in the US with an Illinois soccer club, before adding five additional US clients in two weeks.
With the £1 million investment, Fanbase expects to grow its 10-person team in the next 12 months, and is also preparing to ramp up North American activity by scaling its operations and marketing.
Fanbase CEO and co-founder Alasdair Crawley commented: "We are now a fully integrated sports ticketing tech stack that can handle online, ticket office and ‘pay at the gate’, so right through from ticket office order, payment, and fulfilment.
"Clubs using Fanbase can use our data layer to track fan data, identify audiences, and optimise sales. They can communicate directly with their fans from the platform via push notifications, and we’re also working on unlocking more channels.”
"Our vision is for Fanbase to unlock a huge amount of revenue for sports teams by making it easy to buy and engage with sports organisations from one platform. Once you turn the key and start using Fanbase, the possibilities are endless, from setting up your branded ticketing, utilising the data, and communicating with your fans.”
It seems the Scottish capital is getting a reputation for sports tech innovation. Many UK readers will be aware of University of Edinburgh-founded unicorn FanDuel, which grew its sports betting marketplace up to a $1 billion valuation.
While FanDuel left Edinburgh's scene for a spot in New York City, it hasn't forgotten its roots back home notably having launched a UK hub for product innovation there last September.
Coincidentally, the original FanDuel founders are also announcing a new $4 million fundraising today for their latest venture, the US-domiciled digital music collectibles platform Vault.