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Volume 23 No. 28
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FanVision acquires PrePlay, will add games to hardware

In-venue sports video provider FanVision has acquired PrePlay, a New York-based mobile gaming company, in a deal that seeks to marry FanVision’s hardware capabilities with PrePlay’s software abilities.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but PrePlay Chief Executive Andrew Daines described the transaction as a stock-for-stock merger. The deal also more closely aligns the holdings of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and his RSE Ventures. Ross owns FanVision, and RSE Ventures had been an active investor in PrePlay.

PrePlay is best known for creating predictive mobile sports games in which fans can guess the next play in a real-life contest. The company holds formal partnerships with several teams, properties, media outlets and brands, including MLB Advanced Media and the NHL.

Daines, who founded the company four years ago after graduating from Cornell University, will run the combined company, and FanVision President Uday Ahuja will continue to lead operations for that portion of the business. The combined company will use the FanVision brand name, and Daines will work out of RSE Ventures’ midtown Manhattan offices.

Ross said part of the goal with the deal is to embed PrePlay’s mobile gaming in FanVision’s hardware, which provides alternate video feeds, statistics and other data at live events, particularly NASCAR races. Sun Life Stadium, where Ross’ Dolphins play, will be a testing ground.

“We’re obviously looking to grow FanVision,” Ross said of the company he bought in 2010. “We think there’s something very compelling about bringing the capabilities of these two companies together, and something that will create a great deal of synergy.”

FanVision acquired radio scanner company Track Scan in January and has looked into acquiring Pittsburgh-based YinzCam, a developer of in-stadium mobile applications.

FanVision has not taken off in NFL stadiums, as Ross initially hoped. The units remain a fixture at NASCAR events, using the UHF broadcast spectrum to distribute content in a way that does not compete with often-clogged Wi-Fi and mobile phone networks.

The units rent for $45 to $60 and sell for $199.

Before this deal, PrePlay had raised $7.8 million in venture capital financing, with Seattle area investment firm Trilogy Equity Partners leading a $4.7 million round last year.