Spun Out Of Evri With $3.5M From Paul Allen, SportStream Brings Its Social Sports Platform To The iPad

The Web is noisier than ever before. Content is being produced en masse, in realtime, making it increasingly difficult to separate the signal from the noise. Evri, the realtime content discovery engine, aims to help you find the signal in the noise by indexing millions of news sources and turning that mess of unstructured data into topic-based channels. That way you can more easily follow subjects that interest you, rather than just following the same old, boring news sources. Last year, the startup really accelerated its shift to mobile, differentiating its own apps from the umpteen news-aggregating iPad 'zines out there by not only by letting you follow your interests, but by using its engine to determine the relevance of a topic based on how much it's been covered, the coverage's velocity, and the rate of sharing on social networks. And what creates more noise, sharing, and inspires more loyalty than sports? Sports content is inherently suited to topic based consumption. We all have our allegiances to sports teams, and we want to consume our coverage accordingly. Web readers and surfers want their content personalized and targeted. Bleacher Report gets this. General news aggregation is a crowded space, but sports? Not so much. Not one to miss an opportunity, last year Evri began expanding into the sports world with a suite of apps for iOS and Android called SportStream, which basically ported its social and topic-based discovery engine to sports content. Its first app allowed fans to access realtime news from a whole mess of sources, integrate their social feeds, tweet highlights, view in-game scores, and personalize their feeds based on their favorite teams, players, or topics, like injuries and trades. Today, the free social sports platform is launching on the iPad to give users more a interactive and personalized way to share and participate in live sports. SportStream offers a second-screen experience for watching live sports by putting friends, followers, curated social media streams, real-time stats, and chat inside the touchscreen interface. SportStream also offers Facebook authentication to let users quickly find the games their friends are watching and join them. And, based on the teams and players you "like," it provides a customized experience by following games you will likely find interesting. The app only shows relevant social content to a particular game or event, while letting users hop into chat rooms to talk about a game, or begin a conversation on social networks. Obviously, SportStream is riding a changing trend in the way that people are viewing and consuming live sports content. Social media platforms and additional screens have transformed the viewing experience from passive to interactive. In fact, Forrester recently reported that 85 percent of tablet owners use their devices while watching TV. Proving just how big of an opportunity it thinks the sports market is, Evri spun out SportStream, turning it into its own company a few weeks ago. Not only that, but the newly minted startup closed a $3.5 million series A funding round from Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital shortly thereafter. And who better to have your back than the guy who both co-founded Microsoft and owns the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks? The crazy number of tweets generated every second at this year's Super Bowl proved that there's a ridiculous amount of realtime engagement and sharing happening around big sporting events, but it still largely remains noise. It's unstructured data. So, by creating a platform where fans can go to find info that's relevant to them, interact with other fans, chat, etc., SportStream hopes to become the go-to solution for sports consumers. But, with Pulse, Taptu, Bleacher Report and others moving into sports (and fantasy sports) content aggregation, personalization, and socialization, Evri and SportStream better gird themselves for some serious competition. The ways in which sports content is being consumed is continuing to change fast, and as more and more people cut the cord, mobile and connected TV solutions will pick up the slack. SportStream on the iPad here.
Rip Empson

Rip Empson is a Writer at Gigabuzz, focused on covering early-stage startups, especially those with a technology focus and great perks.

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