Sports technology and gaming company StatusPRO (formerly ByteCubed Labs) has raised a $5.2 Million seed round led by venture capital firms KB Partners and TitletownTech. Additional backing comes from notable investors Greycroft, Verizon Ventures, Haslam Sports Group, 49ers Enterprises, SC Holdings and additional strategic celebrity investors.
StatusPRO combines player data, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create a suite of training and gaming products. The training platform uses real-time player data to power holographic experiences that give players the ability to simulate any practice or game scenario without the physical impact that comes with playing the game. Players are able to simulate virtual practice sessions while in different locations, to mitigate the effects of having less time on the field.
The company also is planning to leverage its platform to expand into the gaming market. Co-founders Andrew "Hawk" Hawkins and Troy Jones will use the funding round to accelerate the expansion of products while defining a new form of engagement between athletes and fans.
"The XR market has seen significant growth in the last 12 months and platforms want to offer consumers new and compelling content,'' said Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Troy Jones. "Securing this investment from partners who not only believe in our vision, but have the experience to help us execute at scale, will allow us to bring unique experiences to athletes, coaches, and fans worldwide and truly define the sports market for XR."
In addition, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer Hawk shared, "StatusPRO was built on the notion that practical experience is the most valuable form of expertise. So, we foster a culture that prioritises and values the diversity of experience and backgrounds of the people and partners who make up our company."
Embarking on this journey as black entrepreneurs and former athletes, it was imperative that Hawkins and Jones established StatusPRO as a way to democratise the experience of professional athletes and create authentic immersive experiences. Using real-time player data to power these immersive experiences will truly disrupt the AR, VR, and gaming space. Since its inception, StatusPRO has cultivated a business that prioritised the perspective of athletes in the technology and in the boardroom.
This includes partnering with NFL MVP Lamar Jackson to create the Lamar Jackson Experience, a suite of first-person virtual reality products that include an at-home virtual reality game, arcade games and live activation. In addition, StatusPRO's proprietary technology is currently being leveraged with several National Football League (NFL) teams including the Baltimore Ravens.
"We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Troy and Hawk as they build the future of sports training and entertainment. We've been incredibly impressed with their leadership and ability to assemble a phenomenal team, their deep domain expertise, and their forward-thinking product vision," said Lance Dietz, Partner at KB Partners.
Will Szczerbiak, Partner at Greycroft, added, "As kids, most of us dreamt about being on the field alongside our favorite pro athletes. The StatusPRO team is leveraging advancements in VR and wearable technology to make that possible. Imagine breaking a 20-yard scramble as Lamar or running a fast break alongside your favorite NBA player — we believe that StatusPRO's games could become among the most sought-after experiences in all of sports."