SBD/Issue 241/Sports Media

Open Sports Raises $3M In Capital As It Readies New Fantasy Games

Open Sports Secures Additional Venture Capital
Funds As Company Readies Fantasy Live Product

Open Sports has raised $3M in additional venture-capital funding for the company, ending a brief period in which Chair & Founder Mike Levy was self-funding the operation. The money was raised through a private round involving previous Open Sports investors, many of whom are friends and business colleagues of Levy, a former SportsLine.com exec. The new round adds to two prior ones totaling $14M. The fantasy sports start-up, meanwhile, is readying several new football products that now comprise the flagship representation of the company. Operating the suite of games under the brand name Fantasy Live, Open Sports' new Fantasy Live Challenge is an ultra-short form fantasy football game in which each game is played in 20 minutes during the Sunday 1:00pm ET NFL games, with unlimited real-time, in-game roster substitutions. Fast Draft Challenge is a salary cap game played in one-week increments, similar to Open Sports' NASCAR fantasy game launched earlier this year, and Fantasy Football Commissioner is a traditional, season-long commissioner-style game. But Fantasy Live Challenge is primarily the game that Levy founded the company upon in '08, but did not have it ready for commercial use in time for the '09 football season. Open Sports is supporting Fantasy Live Challenge with its own, custom-built statistics and live scoring system, rather than contracting out to a third-party outfit, in order to minimize delay between actual NFL plays and their entry into the Fantasy Live Challenge game. "We've got something that nobody else does, and something I believe is the future of fantasy," Levy said of Fantasy Live Challenge. "We believe this is going to be very addictive." Open Sports remains in partnership with Fox Sports.

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