Serent Capital Invests in KORE Software, Business Management Software Leader for Sports and Entertainment
Once bootstrapped KORE Software in New York received investment from Serent Capital to help grow their company in the sports and entertainment industries two weeks ago. KORE has more than 100 professional sports teams using their business management software with 60 pre-built integrations because they’ve developed a market dominating software as a service solution that address their customers’ needs. Their proprietary solution houses customer and partner data in the clouds easily broken down for business intelligence leading to optimized performance for 450 international agencies, brands and properties, including 200 NCAA properties.
This new partnership with the San Francisco based private equity firm enables the development of more high-growth technology and services while providing increased value to existing customers. Together, opportunities will increase across brand and agency business.
The Sports Techie community blog is fast approaching post 1,000 including several about KORE Software. I chatted with Scott Aller, VP Marketing, about the growth opportunities. The aligned vision raising capital presents to KORE Software’s international marketing strategy and brand presence as they expand their portfolio an exciting time. Their new found focus is to work with brands, agencies and properties looking for intuitive tools and services to host customer data, increase sponsorship optimization and streamline activations, resulting in valuable insight and increased profitability.
KORE focuses on fan engagement, data warehousing and sponsorship along with premium offerings. They also layer with CRM systems such as Salesforce and Dynamics along with proprietary systems.
Now, they can enter other markets with enough resources to expand their integrated suite of applications to continue driving insights, efficiency, and profitability within sports and entertainment.
They maintain a 99% retention rate by focusing on user friendliness, data integrity, and unparalleled customer success consultation. With applications that benefit multiple departments, such as ticketing, sponsorship, premium and suites, and business intelligence, KORE’s systems often become the operational “backbone” of the organizations they work with.
KORE Software is considered the Sports and Entertainment industry’s leader in Sponsorship, Fan Engagement, and Sales CRM solutions. They offer four modules within their single platform including, Ticketing & Fan Engagement™, Sponsorship & Partner Engagement™, Suites & Premium™, and Data Warehouse & Analytics™. KORE Planning & Insights (KPI) is a division of KORE that provides business intelligence consultation and staff augmentation services.
Sports technology companies are sprouting up in huge numbers and get funded in a variety of ways. For many the ticket to success is venture capital.
“Since the beginning, KORE has been entirely bootstrapped with no outside investors,” said Matt Sebal, co-founder and Chairman of KORE Software.
According to Aller, from initial meetings to closing the deal, it took “Two years of conversations with (their) investment bank partners.”
Finding a first customer in the sports industry offers more challenges than other verticals, imo. Once you have a professional sports team on board using your product as KORE once did back in the day with the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL, soliciting and closing more clients becomes much easier as long as you deliver as promised because the sports world can be quite small and bad news travels digital fast.
Instead, as happened to KORE, the industry embraces your products, services and company culture fueling the need at some point to grow quickly in order to meet demands and not miss out on new found opportunities.
KORE has evolved from just a company name to the standard term for sports and entertainment B.I.
“When KORE entered the sports and entertainment industry over a decade ago, we could never have foreseen that our products would become the industry’s gold standard. This has happened to such an extent that our software is often listed as an important skill on job postings and resumes,” said Todd Cusolle, co-founder and CEO of KORE Software.
Then comes a time in the history of a company when an influx of money, expertise and relationships at just the right time enables unprecedented growth now and into the future.
“Serent Capital is the right partner for us, and together, we will make an incredible impact on the sports and entertainment industry,” said Cusolle.
Sebal added, “Our company is growing rapidly and can benefit from outside expertise and resources. Partnering with Serent Capital ensures that we can continue our upward trajectory while continuing to provide the world-class customer success that our clients expect.”
As those businesses grow and evolve, the opportunities and challenges that they face change with them. Principals at Serent Capital have firsthand experience at capturing those opportunities and navigating these difficulties through their experiences as CEOs, strategic advisors, and board members to successful grow businesses.
Serent’s partnership with KORE represents its fourth CRM software investment (Commissions Inc, FranConnect, Intygral) and its second investment in the sports management industry (ArbiterSports). Inner Circle Sports LLC advised KORE on the transaction and Kyle Charters, Vice President, played a significant role.
“KORE’s robust solutions are best-of-breed in the industry. They have already attracted the attention of the world’s leading players in sports and entertainment. At Serent, we think that’s just the beginning of what they can do,” said Lance Fenton, Partner at Serent Capital. “We’re enormously excited to be working with Matt, Todd, and the rest of the KORE team.”
Sports Techie, not every start-up grows to the point where corporate finance and capital raising services from the likes of Serent are needed as happened to KORE. Congratulations are in order to all parties involved.
Make no mistake, both companies look as this burgeoning partnership as a way to achieve major revenue capabilities.
Serent looks to invest in business models focused on transactions across software, content and data, a space KORE is right in the middle as a portal for sponsorship activation.
In order to expand business, Aller anticipates in to take 60-90 days to get their 2-5-10 year plan in place. Look for the continued developments of networks to trade info.
I asked where the growth would come. Aller said there are plenty of new teams in North America and they plan to deepen relationships with existing customers, while providing upgrades to those organizations and end users not using all four solution in unison as the OKC Thunder of the NBA do as a revenue center.
Look for KORE marketing to scale up, says Aller. He told me Serent came in and did their due diligence with the heads of departments looking at his marketing spend and capabilities.
A focus on working with worldwide brand agencies calls for KORE and Serent to utilize current relationships to ensure continued growth while helping existing customers with industry acclaimed products and services as they already do.
The Serent success team has brilliant and proven entrepreneurs and bankers. This dedicated team of experts is like a streamlining machine, helping where needed and streamlining operations while getting ready for growth.
Scott emphasized the notion that often with VC capital, delivery and service can often drop off. Both KORE and Serent are on the same page when it comes to maintaining the same quality as they continue to expand into new areas.
They already have traction overseas and people on the ground in Europe and Australia in sports like soccer and rugby.
Visualize data into action, utilize the sponsorship component to maximize revenue while enjoying the usability of system with key features like the sharing of files as is done by LAFC in the MLS.
If you are in need of single platform that offers – Ticketing & Fan Engagement, Sponsorship & Partner Engagement, Suites & Premium, and Data Warehousing & Analytics, KORE has sportsbiz intelligence for all.
See ya later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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