Times of India brand owner company Bennett, Colman and Company’s investment arm Brand Capital has made a $5 million investment in the US sports-tech start-up Starting XI.
Starting 11, the Minneapolis-based sports-tech start-up offering a fantasy football platform has announced that it has received a $5 million investment from Brand Capital, the investment arm of one of India’s largest media conglomerates Bennett Coleman and Company Limited.
The cash infusion comes from Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd., also known as The Times Group. The organization’s assets include some of India’s most popular print, radio, and digital channels.
Starting 11 in a release has stated that it plans to leverage these channels to expand its user base in India. The country, with a population of 1.4 billion people, is among the fastest-growing emerging fantasy sports markets in the world, the company believes.
“This deal brings Starting 11 into Asia in a big way, and Brand Capital and The Times Group are the best possible partners to help Starting 11 scale quickly and globally,” Starting 11 CEO Teague Orgeman said in a statement. “Starting 11’s partnership with Brand Capital represents an enormous vote of confidence in our team and our product and sets us up beautifully for future growth and profitability.”
This is not Starting 11’s first foray into international markets. Since the platform’s official launch in 2017, it has gained traction in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany.
Prior to its investment from The Times Group, Starting 11 had raised $790,000 in seed funding – primarily from local and regional angel investors.
Starting 11 won the Minnesota Cup’s High Tech Division in 2017. It has also received support from other Twin Cities startup organizations, including Forge North, BETA, Bootstrappers.mn and the Minnesota Emerging Software Association.
“We are so grateful to the Minnesota angel investors and local startup leaders who believed in our team from the very beginning,” said Amanda Heyman, co-founder and general counsel of Starting 11. “The startup journey is an emotional and financial rollercoaster, and it’s absolutely critical to have external support along the way.”