Investors include leading global sports accelerator and fund Stadia Ventures, YouTube Cofounder Chad Hurley, Crosscut Ventures, Paul Bricault of Greycroft & Amplify.LA, and Nations Ventures to build the Sports Marketplace for a new generation of creators
OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Obsesh, a creator marketplace platform for sports, today announced the company closed a $1 million pre-seed round. With the funding, Obsesh is building the sports marketplace of the future for athlete creators to monetize their skills and talents by connecting with their fans who want to train like a pro.
The CA-based SportsTech company was founded by female entrepreneurs and athletes Tracy Benson (Home Depot & Best Buy) and Jonalyn Morris (Beats by Dre, Disney Interactive) to address the problem that many athletes struggle to make a living because they can’t easily turn followers into customers. The solution is Obsesh, a centralized marketplace interface for fans to book the world’s most talented athletes and get access to training, tips, and pro feedback easily with a few taps on their phone. Users create an account and browse a marketplace to learn from the pros like how to train smarter, improve speed and agility, increase their vertical, and learn new specialized skills.
For the best athletes, they now have a self-serve platform for transacting directly with consumers and reducing the burdens of merchandising, payments, distribution and managing their own business. Obsesh provides flexibility for athletes to set their own prices and the athlete keeps 75% of each transaction. They also receive premium digital marketing, social, and growth support to own and monetize their audience, all from the convenience of their phone.
Obsesh launched in May of 2021 and has been gaining momentum, with more than 300 top pro, Olympic and NCAA athletes that consumers can now access for expert-level athletic skills. The company has also brought on a roster of top athlete advisors including WNBA Star and UCLA Basketball Alum, Monique Billings; Pro Skateboarding legend Reese Forbes, known for his iconic collaboration with NikeSB on the Reese Forbes’ Wheat Dunk shoe line; Parkour luminary Jesse La Flair; and Pro Surfer Anthony Walsh.
“The creator economy is a $100 billion industry, and sports has historically ignored a giant highly skilled pool of creators: athletes. More than 90% of the top athletes across every sport struggle to turn their talent and skills into a business they can monetize consistently or efficiently – and it shouldn’t be this damn hard! The current sports marketplace is fragmented and complex. There are so many layers between the athlete and consumer! We saw the opportunity to take friction out of the system and use a business model that allows athletes to own and monetize online without the hard skills of knowing how to merchandise, take payments, or package up products,” said Tracy Benson, CEO and cofounder of Obsesh. “It shouldn’t be so damn hard! Obsesh is an online marketplace built for athletes, by athletes. And there isn’t a better time to have the confidence and backing of our investors which empowers us to continue acquiring the right athletic talent, building our platform, and launching a few early products that set the stage for a new ‘personal’ generation of sports.”
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Obsesh is female-founded and a top 5 global sportstech platform. The sports marketplace platform is backed by top global sports innovators, including Stadia Ventures; Nations Ventures; Harvard Business School Alumni of Greater New York; Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder and part-owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and MLS’ Los Angeles Football Club; Brent Hurley, Youtube founding team member; Brian Garret, Founder Crosscut Ventures; Dan Mannix, Former CEO CSM Global Sports & Entertainment Agency; and Paul Bricault, Founder Amplify.LA and Board Partner, Greycroft.