FuseSport, which moved its headquarters from Australia to Colorado Springs a year ago, has landed nearly $1 million from local investors, and plans to use it to boost marketing of its sports management software and significantly expand its staff.
The investments come from PV Ventures, a venture capital fund headed by local entrepreneur Bill Miller, Rainsberger Wealth Advisors and local angel investors Chris Blees and Ken Jaray.
The company has grown from four employees when it opened a year ago to 11, including five who moved from FuseSport's previous headquarters in Sydney, Australia. FuseSport plans to have up to 25 employees by year's end and about 100 employees in the next three to five years, said Chris Clark, FuseSport's founder and CEO.
FuseSport also has expanded its executive staff in recent months by adding Jaray, a local attorney, as its general counsel and Kurt Aichele, former CEO of USA Fencing and a former executive with an event management firm, as its chief operating officer and top local executive.
"We want to grow as large as we can during the next three to five years, then evaluate our financing options once we are a strong, profitable business," Clark said Thursday. "Those options could include an initial public offering, further investments from a variety of sources or partnering with other organizations. At that point, we would hope to employ more than 100 people, but our long-term objective is to grow the business to be an organization that would employ hundreds or thousands of people."
FuseSport has developed and sells online software that allows a sports organization to manage all parts of its operation, including online registration, competition scheduling and statistics, website operation, marketing, financial management and management of customer relationships.
Its software has been used for events and organizations in more than 100 sports, including the 2010 World Lifesaving Championships, which included 4,000 competitors from more than 40 countries in Alexandria, Egypt.
The software is similar to enterprise software marketed to corporate customers by technology giants IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, and competes directly with similar software from The Active Network Inc. and Eventbrite Inc.
"Both Active and Eventbrite are valued at more than $1 billion and Active employs 3,500 people. That speaks to the opportunity for our company. We have been beating both of these companies for market share in recent months and we eventually expect to get to their size," Clark said.
FuseSport has added more than 50 users to its online software in the past year, including organizers of The Color Run series of races, which last year included about 170 races in more than 30 countries.
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