Sports news and stats app Locker raises $700,000

1 Jul 2021

From left: Brian Quinn, Ross O’Dwyer, Matt Steerman and Andrew Pierse. Image: Locker

The Galway start-up is preparing to launch in the US after taking part in the Techstars Sports Accelerator.

Galway start-up Locker, which is developing a sports news and stats app, has raised $700,000 in a pre-seed round.

Founded last year, Locker provides users with personalised sports news and stats, tailored to each user through machine learning. It provides real-time stats on the NFL, NBA, Premier League, La Liga and the PGA Tour through a partnership with Stats Perform and plans to roll out audio functions.

Ross O’Dwyer, previously the co-founder of Pundit Arena, heads up Locker. He is joined by Brian Quinn, a former commercial and marketing director of Setanta Sports and Eir Sport, along with Andrew Pierse and Matt Steerman.

Techstars led the funding round with the Western Development Commission and a number of unnamed investors contributing. Locker has taken part in the Techstars Sports Accelerator and the Sportradar Acceleradar programme.

The start-up’s app is due to launch in the US next year and it is also planning a premium version of the app. According to the start-up, it will provide ‘micro-subscriptions’ to the sports sections of paywalled partner publishers.

“At Locker we are passionate about great sports journalism. There is a world of brilliant sports content out there, the frustrating part is how we consume it. Why do sports fans have to go to so many places on a daily basis to find their favourite content?” O’Dwyer said.

As well as audio, Locker will be adding features including video down the line and will add content on a wider range of sports, including e-sports.

“Locker is not another content creator. In fact, as a technology company, we don’t create any content whatsoever, but rather it works with publishers to support growth, providing transparency, insights and solutions they aren’t getting elsewhere,” O’Dwyer added.

“We care about supporting quality sports content and journalism at regional, national and international levels, and will work with our partners to create a sustainable platform for all stakeholders.”

“This is a great founding team that understands sports fans, publishers, advertising and subscriptions,” Jordan Fliegel, managing director of the Techstars Sports Accelerator, added.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin