With CEO Ilya Tabakh in full pads, Edge Up’s Kickstarter campaign video tackles the playful aspects of fantasy football — trash-talking, devastating losses and rowdy fans — to appeal to would-be backers. The company is eyeing $35,000 to support the build of its analytics platform, which taps high-tech services such as IBM Watson.
As of Aug. 17 — or five days after launching its campaign — Edge Up Sports reached its goal. The company’s campaign has exceeded $38,800.
“We want to help you completely blow out your fantasy league,” Tabakh said. “We clean up all these disconnected and disparate data sources by using techniques to put that information into context for things that matter to fantasy players. … We want to tailor our tools around making fantasy football fun again and find ways to allow users to talk smack in a more interesting way and ultimately be competitive in their league.”
In addition to using IBM Watson, Edge Up’s platform looks at variables such as a user’s team, player statistics, matchups that week and even the weather. It also will pull data from social media interactions, analyst write-ups, news stories and more. By offering such information, the company hopes to snag part of a nearly half-billion dollar pie.
About 57 million Americans and Canadians will play in fantasy leagues this year, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. That massive group will spend around $465 million on fantasy games
Serving as an assistant coach to fantasy players, Edge Up Sports hopes to appeal to some of the estimated 10 million casual users with its mobile platform. The company plans to charge $22 for Edge Up’s basic platform, or $55 for its “cognitive tier.” The cognitive tier uses IBM Watson technology to process a wide sampling of data available around the NFL to help users make informed picks. It also will look at trends over a set period of weeks.
The company is now in the business incubator Digital Sandbox KC, which awarded it a $25,000 grant. Additionally, Edge Up also has secured $30,000 in funding, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company also has received loads of press for its platform, including WIRED, Fast Company and the Kansas City Star.
Check out the company’s Kickstarter campaign and video here.