Bluefields, a social platform and management tool for recreational sports teams, players and league organizers, has announced a seed funding round worth $1 million as it emerged from its private beta today.
The new investment included contributions from Tony Hsieh’s VegasTechFund, Ballpark Ventures, Venrex, 500 Startups and White Star Capital. Meanwhile, Elliot Loh, Edward Wray, Christian Hernandez, Alicia Navarro, Chang Ng, Andy McLoughlin, Tim Fong, Richard Fearn, Andreas Koukorinis, Christian Lawless and Nathan Elstub were also involved as individual investors.
Bluefields, an alumnus of the pan-European startup accelerator Seedcamp and US incubator 500 Startups, is a service that helps sports organizers create and automate all of the communication between amateur leagues, teams and players.
Each athlete has an online profile on Bluefields connected through their Facebook account. The simple dashboard means coaches and league organizers can easily contact multiple players at once, and also add information for every game both before and after the match. In day-to-day use, this could include where the match will be played, who has been picked for the squad, drop-off points and photographs of the game.
During its private beta the service handled 60,000 sports team players, although the company says it will now focus on expanding further as a result of the seed round and public release. It follows a similar product called Teamer, which we reported on back in November 2011.
Bluefields, founded in 2010 as part of the East London startup community, has also invited Micah Baldwin, CEO and co-founder of Graphic.ly, to join the company as an adviser. Although the team is currently headquartered in London, they now hope to move to Las Vegas following succesful Visa applications.
Piers Rollinson, co-founder of Bluefields said: “With 2.3 billion people worldwide playing some form of team sport every year, it’s crazy that this audience does not have a central place for communication. We are making that communication easy and social.”
The full release of Bluefields also includes a number of new features; opt-in for players and parents, meaning that organizers no longer have to worry about asking their members to sign up; calendar synchronization, for scheduling important games and training sessions; real-time team messaging and comments; sticky messaging function for organizers, as well as automatic reminders for players via text message or email.
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