Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hitting the Showers

I have a lot to do today and got off to a late start due to the basketball games running way long, so..... sorry.

"Fancred, mobile app for hard-core sports fans, hits the showers" by Scott Kirshner, 6 days ago

Fancred, a mobile app for sports aficionados that debuted in 2013 with an assist from Sox slugger David Ortiz, has laid off its staff of 14 and is looking for a buyer. Hossein Kash Razzaghi, the CEO of the Boston-based company, says he made the decision in late December when the company was unable to raise additional money from investors.

Fancred had tried to link together followers of sports teams with Android and iPhone apps that let them talk trash with others, view scores and recaps, or live-stream video of their victory dance after a touchdown. But Razzaghi says the app simply didn’t attract a large enough audience to be able to interest advertisers.

Is that contributing to the level of civility and discourse? 

I suppose Trump is to blame, right?

“We focused solely on product development and growth,” he says. “We didn’t feel like we were at a point where we felt it’d make sense to put in advertising.” Razzaghi says the app did run a few experimental marketing campaigns, most recently with Boston-based apparel company 47 Brand.

Razzaghi says that he is keeping the company’s apps alive while he searches for a buyer. But he has returned to Brightcove, the video delivery company where he previously worked, and co-founder Jeremy Merle, also a Brightcove alum, is planning to launch a new digital design agency.

Razzaghi says that when Fancred tried to raise additional funding last year, it encountered investors who were suddenly asking questions about revenue, instead of just app downloads and usage patterns. “A couple of years ago, what they wanted was ‘growth growth growth.’ Now, it’s more revenue,” he says.

Is that $urpri$ing?

“We fought like hell for four years to grow Fancred into something special,” he says. “We had a lot of big wins and big successes, but at the end of the day, we could not grow as fast as we needed to grow to continue funding it with VC money.”

All that endowment and pension money gone!

Individual investors who had put money into Fancred included Acquia founder Jay Batson, Boston Chicken mogul George Nadaff, and Linda Pizzuti Henry, managing director of The Boston Globe and wife of Globe owner John W. Henry. The Globe runs this website.

Can't get any more $elf-$erving than that.

I last wrote about Fancred in 2013, when it raised an initial funding round of $1.5 million and had just graduated from the Techstars Boston accelerator program....

I didn't.


Talk about a loss of credibility.

Related: Wednesday's Cuts

It's a preemptive post, and it's time for me to cut out.