SAN FRANCISCO (Private Equity Week) - TeamSnap started out as an application to make life easier for a soccer coach, but it has grown so popular that it's now being used in 94 countries.
"Our customers love our service and customer referrals have been the primary impetus for our growth," said Dave DuPont, co-founder and CEO of the Boulder, Colorado-based company. Last week, TeamSnap announced it raised $700,000 in a first round of funding from Denver-based venture fund eonBusiness and several undisclosed individual investors.
"With the current funding round, we believe we can dramatically increase the already strong organic growth we are experiencing," DuPont said.
TeamSnap (www.teamsnap.com/), which operates a website that allows users to manage sports teams and other activities, such as book clubs, Boy Scout meetings and even family gatherings, will use the funding to expand its features, DuPont said.
The impetus behind TeamSnap started about eight years ago when co-founder Matt Triplett - formerly the creative director at the website design consultancy Sparkplug - agreed to manage his soccer team. Triplett, now creative director at TeamSnap, quickly realized all the problems associated with keeping his soccer squad on track, such as having to send emails back and forth, managing spreadsheets and the frustration of keeping it all organized.
Triplett decided there had to be a better way. So he spent several weeks putting together a rough version of what is now TeamSnap.
The platform allows coaches and others to manage their teams or groups through such online tools as a scheduler and message forum for free. Those willing to pay an annual subscription of about $55 for the basic package also get email reminders, player availability, photos and a payment tracker. A premium package includes weather tracking, player statistics, and a customizable website for $79 a year per team.
DuPont, who was one of the founders of LeftHand Networks Inc., which was sold to Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2008 for an estimated $360 million, said a major portion of TeamSnap's revenue comes from subscriptions. And he said that about 40 percent of the website's customers are paying customers. He estimated the site has more than 500,000 users.
In addition to managing popular sports, such as ice hockey in Canada and baseball in the United States, DuPont said the website works well with any team sport or activity.
Among the other uses of TeamSnap highlighted on the website include golf groups in Iceland, cricket teams in India and wok racing in Germany. Even bizarre sports, such as camel racing and "wife carrying fruitcake tossing" have their enthusiasts on TeamSnap.
DuPont said that TeamSnap was formalized in 2009, and he provided some of the initial funding. He said the $700,000 in its first round is "more than what we need." He declined to disclose the number of employees at the company, but he acknowledged that it was small.
"We intentionally kept the round small," he said. "It doesn't make sense to take more money than what we need, especially when Internet companies can be run with lean staffs."