MarketPryce, Online Marketplace for Athlete Marketing Offerings, Raises $ 3M in Seed Funding
MarketPryce, an online marketplace connecting athletes and businesses for marketing partnerships, raised $ 3 million in a funding round.
The funding comes less than two months after the NCAA allowed college athletes to enjoy their name, image and likeness, a move that has resulted in a significant increase in traffic and transactions on MarketPryce.
Jason Bergman, co-founder and managing director of MarketPryce, did not want to disclose the names of the investors, only that they were a “group of private institutional investors”.
Bergman founded the company in February 2020 with Shehryar Khan, a former colleague of Robly, an email marketing company. Bergman had previously represented a dozen low-profile professional athletes and was struggling to secure marketing deals for them. It was even difficult to find who to contact in companies, and even when Bergman managed to identify the right people who had the power to make deals, more often than not they did not respond to his requests.
Bergman knew there was an easier way for athletes and businesses to get to know each other and modeled MarketPryce after dating sites where people can connect quickly and easily. For most of the last year, Khan, an experienced developer, built the MarketPryce website, which officially launched in January.
MarketPryce had some traction earlier this year among professional athletes, but activity really picked up on July 1 with the formalization of NIL legislation. Since its launch, the company has registered more than 1,300 athletes and more than 300 companies, with around 500 athletes and 50 companies on board since early July. The website has facilitated over 2,000 marketing deals in total.
Companies are not charged for accessing MarketPryce and may offer free products to athletes or pay them for promotions or appearances. MarketPryce earns 5% processing for paid transactions, but does not receive any commission for product-only transactions.
College students and professional athletes can enroll for as low as $ 15 and $ 49 per month, respectively. Athlete Agents and Advisors pay $ 99 per month for up to 10 of their clients and up to $ 399 per month for 51 or more clients. Anyone signing up for an annual subscription benefits from a 50% discount.
Bergman noted that most recent deals involve college athletes receiving free food, clothing, and other goods, while paid transactions are typically $ 50 to $ 500 apiece. He added that more than half of the college deals involved women in sports such as volleyball, soccer and track and field.
“It’s been really explosive over the past two months,” Bergman said. “It’s a very affordable way (for businesses) to market themselves and build brand awareness. And for college athletes, if they can trade $ 100 a month, it’s life changing. “
MarketPryce currently has seven employees, but the company plans to use the proceeds from the funding round to hire an additional 10-15 people, particularly in software development / engineering and sales / marketing roles. It will also upgrade its website and app.
MarketPryce is among several markets targeting more than 460,000 colleges athletes looking to take advantage of their NIL, so it sees more competition. Nonetheless, the company expects more deals to be made in its market with the college football season and other fall sports underway and students returning to campus.
“This is one of the reasons we wanted to increase this round now,” said Bergman. “The weather was really important to us. We wanted to make sure we could capitalize on this expected growth. “