NEW YORK and MIAMI, Feb. 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — StatusPRO, Inc., a sports technology and gaming company that uses real-time player data to create authentic extended reality experiences, today announced $20 million in new funding, one of the largest Series A of any VR gaming company to date, led by GV (Google Ventures).
StatusPRO is joining GV’s investment portfolio of successful tech, healthcare, and consumer companies, asserting its spot as a standout and growing VR company in the space. After two years of laying a foundation in the sports gaming industry and establishing a new genre, first-person sports, StatusPRO will use the additional capital to broaden development into new sports titles while continuing to enhance its modes and features and further improve its cutting-edge technology.
The round includes additional funding from India’s renowned sports-tech giant Dream Sports, Minnesota Vikings Owners Mark & Zygi Wilf’s Wise Ventures, JDS Sports, and Alumni Ventures, with participation from existing investors including LeBron James, Drake, Maverick Carter, Main Street Advisors, Haslam Sports Group and more.
StatusPRO was founded and developed by two former football players, Troy Jones and Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins, on the premise that the way coaches, players, and fans experience their favorite sports could be elevated to a new level through XR technology. In 2022, the Black-founded StatusPRO launched the first-ever NFL and NFLPA-licensed virtual reality (VR) simulation gaming franchise, NFL PRO ERA, and made its mark on the sports gaming category by allowing players to experience what it feels like to be on the field playing as QB of their favorite NFL team.
This immersive, first-person simulation brings fans closer to the gridiron by giving them a professional football player’s perspective through VR technology. Last October, the franchise, which highlighted NFL MVP and All Pro QB Lamar Jackson as its cover athlete, saw an evolution that introduced new features such as head-to-head multiplayer gameplay so players could interact, connect, and compete against one another in the virtual world.
NFL PRO ERA is one of the most successful sports franchises in VR history. Since launch, StatusPRO has garnered over 1,000,000 users and players have spent an average of 41 minutes in game, estimated to be 2x longer compared to VR industry averages. As one of the top VR studios, StatusPRO has not only produced the fastest selling sports title in VR history but is a top title on the Meta Quest platform (top 10 in sales). NFL PRO ERA is among the most successful Black-founded gaming franchises ever.
“No matter if its virtual reality or spatial computing, our vision at StatusPRO is to define first-person sports and deliver experiences that truly embody the emotion, competition and sense of community that comes with being a professional athlete,” said Troy Jones, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of StatusPRO. “The investment from GV, Dream, and all other syndicates in the round, further validates the opportunity to leverage emerging technology to innovate the way fans interact with their favorite sports and define a new form of engagement that brings current and future fans closer to the game.”
Other substantial new investments came from a diverse group of athletes, entertainers, firms, and industry leaders including Myles Garrett, David Grutman, Bobby Wagner, Jeff Stibel, Peter Delgrosso, Cameron Jordan, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Crystal Hayslett, Devale Ellis, TitletownTech, Black Angel Group, Life Line Family Heritage Fund, Sun Technology Investors, Andre Gaines of Cinemation Studios, and the Fuller Brothers of 6408 Ventures, among others.
“StatusPRO is building the next generation of sports and gaming entertainment through cutting-edge virtual reality. The company’s unique technology-driven approach and meaningful partnerships have resulted in strong early growth and product traction,” said M.G Siegler, Venture Partner at GV. “Troy Jones and Andrew Hawkins have built an impressive team and track record of execution in a short time, and we’re thrilled to support StatusPRO as they move the VR gaming industry forward.”
VR gaming continues to grow in popularity. The global VR gaming market is projected to grow from $7.92 billion in 2021 to $53.44 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 31.4% in forecast period 2021-2028 period. With this projected growth, StatusPRO prepares for ongoing customer acquisition and retention while continuing to solidify the company as the innovative leader redefining the sports gaming world and eyeing global expansion in the sports VR market with a focus on future sports IP.
“As a former professional athlete, working with a dedicated team of people who have all participated in sports and worked for years across the sports business industry at a high level, we understand what it takes to compete and win,” said Andrew Hawkins, co-founder and President of StatusPRO. “We believe that VR is the innovative answer to help allow fans globally to see and experience what it’s like to be a Pro. This is just the beginning for StatusPRO and paves the way for us to enter additional sectors of sports VR, opening doors for us to explore other professional sports avenues and teams.”
StatusPRO’s NFL PRO ERA is available on the Meta Quest, Official PlayStation™, Pico, and Steam Store.