Team LeBron head coach Quin Snyder trains during the 70th NBA All Star game as part of the NBA All Star Weekend 2021 on March 7, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jesse D. Garrabrant | National Basketball Association | Getty Images
Luceo Sports, a software company that digitizes and animates sports betting, is looking for investors to expand its business. The company is based in Arizona and has already entered into agreements with professional basketball clubs that use the product.
In an interview with CNBC, Andy Graham, founder and CEO of Luceo, said he was looking for approximately $ 5 million to invest in sales and marketing. With Luceo’s software, teams can insert their game books and terminology and then convert drawings into motion graphics.
“It makes it a game animation so you get that sequence and timing instead of just a picture,” said Graham.
He added Luceo could help younger athletes learn game books faster, and teams could also distribute them to newly acquired players. For example, if a National Basketball Association team makes a mid-season deal, a team using Luceo can quickly create a login and give the player access to digital game books.
“We are focused on the educational aspect of the game,” said Graham. “And we remember that trainers are teachers and try to teach them good educational technology so they can create explanations to reach today’s digital learners.”
The Rosetta Stone of Sport
37-year-old Graham started Luceo in 2016 after spending time with data analytics company Synergy Sports and software company FastModel, which also makes money digitizing pro playbooks. He left FastModel in 2014 after discovering a niche in the market.
“I realized how much technology had advanced in those years (at FastModel) and I wanted to be a part of it all,” said Graham. “Ed-tech, a market that has exploded in the last few decades, and sports at all levels are just a learning and development activity.”
Luceo is a software-as-a-service company, and the company makes money on subscription, ancillary service, and transaction fees. Subscriptions are only $ 2 per month for users, while the premium Professional package is $ 15 per month. The program has an app. However, registrations are only possible through the website to avoid the fees Apple charges for digital subscriptions.
When asked about subscribers, Graham declined to give details, but added that there are around 150,000 people in the company’s “ecosystem”. Hence people who know Luceo and have access to him. The company has agreements with 11 NBA clubs, including the Utah Jazz and three college teams.
Graham also did not disclose any income. He said pro clubs usually sign annual contracts and Luceo targets everyday consumers with subscription pricing. The plan is to attract Generation Z users (ages 6 to 24) and their parents as this population group grows up in a more digitized learning environment. One of the features Graham highlighted is a playoff within the program. The activity allows athletes to use a team’s playbook to practice what to do in critical game situations.
Graham called Luceo the Rosetta Stone – popular language learning software – of sport.
“The most comprehensive digital learning platform for sport,” he said. “The more children feel that they understand the sport, or that fans understand it, or parents, the more likely they are to get involved.”
Targeting the NFL
While at Synergy, Graham said he had improved his product design and business development skills, adding that the insight “is fundamental to what I think of now”. The lessons will be essential to Luceo as the competition is fierce. According to Grand View Research, the ed-tech market is projected to reach $ 377 billion by 2028. Here, too, FastModel is a competitor and is already used by numerous basketball scouts.
The National Football League could support Luceo’s future growth. With its software, Luceo positions itself as a target group for professional football clubs and is currently working on digitized and animated football match books. Graham said he would start small and pursue high schools and college programs first.
Andrew Graham, Luceo Sports
Source: Luceo Sports
“That’s where we go,” said Graham when he finally chased the NFL business.
Luceo is gaining traction in sports and has been featured on NBATV. Sacramento Kings deputy head coach Alvin Gentry is also a supporter of the software. To take the next step, Graham needs to convince investors of Luceo’s potential. It won’t be easy, but Graham says it’s part of the “fun challenge” of running a business.
When asked to provide a brief overview of Luceo, Graham said, “I’ve already built a business that teams in the NBA and NCAA use twice. (Luceo) started small and has been up to for the past five years grown to that point, “he added. “But I have faith in the needs of the market. I know how this business works.”