San Francisco-based audience monetization and data analytics firm FanAI has announced the closing of its $8 million Series A. The funding will be used to support FanAI’s continued expansion from 20 to 30 employees, along with the growth of its existing United Kingdom and European business.
The funding round was led by Japanese integrated trading and investment business conglomerate Marubeni Corporation (OTCMKTS: MARUY). Other participating investors included Allectus Capital, CRCM Ventures, Courtside Ventures, GC Tracker Fund, M Ventures, Sterling VC, and GFR Fund. This brings the total raised capital for the sponsorship data platform to $12.5 million.
“We couldn’t imagine a better strategic investor than Marubeni to help realize our business objectives in a brand new market,” said Johannes Waldstein, CEO of FanAI, in a release. “Marubeni has forged incredibly strong business relationships throughout the region, and with this partnership, we are positioned to expand our team and continue to build out our self serve sponsorship data platform.”
FanAI connects fan data to purchase, social, and streaming data to improve the effectiveness of sponsorship and digital media for clients. In January, the company acquired esports data firm Waypoint for an undisclosed purchase price. In September, it also partnered with consumer insights agency Interpret to provide “streaming audit and valuation services” for esports leagues, publishers, and events.
“Digital measurement based on real purchase data is a tremendous opportunity for brands as they optimize spend outcomes across entertainment and sports,” said Daniel Welt, vice president and general manager of the Next Generation Business Development Division of Marubeni Corporation. “Marubeni’s Next Generation Business Development sees FanAI as a strategic partner for the APAC region to bring leading platform analytics to that market.”
Marubeni Corporation’s Next Generation Business Development Division focuses on areas with expected rapid market growth. This includes esports, entertainment, smart city, new materials, healthcare, fin-tech, and more. FanAI will also expand into the Asia-Pacific market with the support of Marubeni, including Japan and South Korea. Some of FanAI’s clients include video game developers Capcom and HiRez Studios; along with esports organizations 100 Thieves, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, and Gen G.