MILLIONS.co, aptly named, made waves on September 14 with a triumphant announcement of securing $12.6 million CAD (equivalent to $10 million USD) during its inaugural funding round. Leading the charge in this Series A round was Volition Capital, a Boston-based investment firm known for its prowess in nurturing innovative startups. The beneficiary of this financial boost? A social commerce platform meticulously designed for professional and semi-professional athletes.
MILLIONS.co, driven by an ambitious mission, has its sights set on global expansion. As co-founder and CEO Matt Whitteker expressed, "This product literally fits with every athlete in the entire world." The potential for MILLIONS.co is boundless, resonating with the athletic community worldwide.
This groundbreaking venture also piqued the interest of some notable investors. Cody Fauser, formerly the Chief Technology Officer at Shopify, and Aydin Mirzee, CEO of Fellow.app, who successfully sold his previous venture to Survey Monkey, threw their weight behind this promising startup. The Series A round concluded on September 14, marking a significant milestone for MILLIONS.co.
The primary objectives for the raised funds include crucial hires, expanding into new markets, and enhancing program functionality. Whitteker proudly noted that the round garnered more interest than expected, reflecting the tremendous promise MILLIONS.co holds.
MILLIONS.co embarked on its beta journey in April and officially launched in May, immediately gaining traction. Whitteker attributed this rapid success to the overwhelming interest from athletes and customers, reinforcing their belief in the massive opportunity before them.
With a team of 14 dedicated individuals, MILLIONS.co has already forged partnerships with thousands of professional athletes and hundreds of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes. The platform has also attracted globally renowned talents such as Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, UFC announcer Jon Anik, and MMA legends Bas Rutten and Din Thomas, among others.
Whitteker expressed his satisfaction with the funding round, emphasizing the value brought by the investors. Volition Capital, with approximately a billion dollars under management, stands as a formidable partner for MILLIONS.co.
Interestingly, this isn't the first collaboration between Matt Whitteker and Volition Capital. In a testament to their fruitful partnership, Whitteker had previously co-founded Assent Compliance, an Ottawa-based enterprise compliance SaaS software and data management solutions company. Volition Capital had led a Series A round worth $20 million CAD for Assent Compliance, setting the stage for a promising "round two" in their professional journey.
In addition to the funding announcement, MILLIONS.co unveiled strategic partnerships with esteemed sporting agencies. These partnerships include sports talent agency CAA Sports, the Professional Fighting League (PFL), and First Round Management.
Moreover, MILLIONS.co introduced the "MILLIONS Gives a MILLION" signing bonus campaign, open to professional, NCAA, and Olympic athletes. This bonus structure is determined by an athlete's social media following, offering various tiers of up to $5,000 per athlete. To qualify, athletes from the Olympics, NCAA, and professional leagues must sign up, go live, and make a sale.
MILLIONS.co operates by partnering with athletes to share revenues from transactions. This empowers athletes to leverage their existing fan base and social media followers, enabling them to create and manage their revenue streams effortlessly. The platform offers three core products, overseeing merchandise and e-commerce for athletes.
Whittaker outlined the simplicity of the process for athletes: "All they have to do is promote it." MILLIONS.co takes care of everything, from inventory management to design and creative work.
Additionally, the platform offers two video-centric offerings. The first is a personalized video platform that allows fans to pose questions to athletes, who respond with personalized video messages. The second, Watchstream, is an innovative form of podcasting. Cameras focus on athletes as they watch sporting events, allowing fans to experience the game alongside their favorite athletes.
"Athletes are always looking for ways to connect on a deeper level with fans, generate additional revenue streams, and build their personal brands, and MILLIONS offers all of this on a single platform," remarked Sean Cantwell, managing partner at Volition Capital. "We think that MILLIONS is the future of fan engagement."
Original Source: BetaKit
Image courtesy of MILLIONS.co