Helsinki-based Sofanatics built a platform for fans to better engage with each other during sports events, but shut down last week citing they weren't able to build a sustainable business behind their platform. But if there's one thing I've learned from Disney movies about rag-tag sports teams that are getting shut down, is that there's always a chance for a comeback. A group of Sofanatics users decided the company isn't over yet, and over 300 fans have banded together on Facebook to mount a comeback plan.
ArcticStartup keeps an optimistic tone with Nordic and Baltic startups, but still I try to keep some distance with the startups I'm covering. That being said, I've been a fan of Helsinki-based Sofanatics since learning about their virtual sports stadium that allows fans to chat with other fans, and talk trash to fans of opposing teams. It was such a cool concept that we were surprised to read on the company's blog yesterday that Sofanatics is shutting down, citing that they weren't able to build a successful business behind the product.
"Our ambition level was high, so we did not want to Sofanatics become nothing else than big," co-founder and CEO Toni Laturi tells us by email. "That is why the decision was pretty straight forward. It is bit too early to say anything else. Except the team already knows that we will not regret that we started the journey."
Both the internet and sports has been billed as the great connector of peoples and cultures, but so far they haven't worked too well together. Sure, people talk the game on Twitter, engage their friends over Facebook, and refresh a message board page over and over, but nothing until Helsinki-based Sofanatics close to that feeling of being in a sports bar and being able to talk trash to that guy three barstools down and cheer for your team with fellow fans. NBA fans got a taste of this during the NBA finals with a Facebook app integration of Sofanatics on the NBA's Facebook page.
We've covered Sofanatics a few times in the past, but at the simplest level they've created a web service that splits the screen into a chat feed for the two teams playing. By picking sides, you get more context when chatting about the game, but as a user you can really tap the mood of what each side is feeling. The service is fun, especially when you're watching a game by yourself at home. A goal scored in hockey or football is a momentous occasion -- each side explodes in noes and yeses, confetti shoots on one side, and the other side is drowned in virtual rain.
Sofanatics, the Finnish social sports media startup, has decided to quit advertising on Facebook for the time being, citing increased costs and lower conversion rates as the main factors behind the rather radical decision. The company says that despite optimizing and targeting their ads on Facebook, customer acquisition costs have almost doubled due to higher click prices and declining conversion rates.
Followers and fans of Sofanatics probably got used by now to their virtual stadium chat interface introduced earlier in the spring. Today's announcement can bring that view to a great number of other websites: Sofanatics released their API. This means that from now on anyone can embed Sofanatics' virtual stadium on their own page. To add new matches to the screen, you'd need to add a few lines of code and voilà - you connect supporters during the game on your own website featuring a stadium chat interface. The embedded version does not have activation or other limits so even small clubs can embed Sofanatics' stadium view.
When there is a platform available to ensure maximum user engagement, there isn’t really a point why it shouldn’t be fully leveraged and Sofanatics has everything to give to sports fans they need. We've written in the past about their latest improvement to the service, the stadium feature, which is one of the reasons for the wide usage relating to this post as well.
Sofanatics, the Finnish startup that is aiming to become the best way to chat about sports, debuted their new chat interface earlier this week in the Bayern Munchen vs. Inter Milan Champions League match.
I might sound a bit too judgmental and far fetched when it comes to putting Sofanatics as being one of the most interesting startups from Finland. Primarily because it brings all football fanatics onto one platform that has the potential to be the buzzing stadium within a browser. Do I make sense?
Lets watch TV together, it could be anything, your favorite drama or something as addictive as a Football match. But don’t you think the idea of getting ready and walking to a friend’s place sounds a bit too tiring? And where’s the fun in all that when you have already watched a countless games together? How about jumping on the Internet bandwagon and having a more social experience? That’s what formed the basis of the launch of Sofanatics. The startup was launched back in February giving users a platform to cheer for their teams.
The British football club, Chelsea, has begun to use the Finnish startup Sofanatics' Facebook application in their Facebook fan page. Sofanatics is a startup that revolves around social video, especially from the sports point of view. We've recently written about them extensively, especially regarding the investments and board advisors they've managed to get. Last night, Sofanatics tweeted news that Chelsea has begun using their Facebook app to enable fans to chat amongst themselves. The app enables viewers to chat or those with cameras, to videochat amongst themselves - in essence taking Sofanatics' features and functionalities to Facebook.
The Helsinki, Finland based Sofanatics, has closed a seed round from high profile angels. Among the new investors is Jyri Engeström, former Jaiku Co-Founder as well as Aki Riihilahti, former Crystal Palace midfielder. There are more, but Sofanatics will not disclose their names nor the sum invested into the company at this stage. Sofanatics is a social TV service for sports fans.
The former Finnish Broadcasting Corporation (YLE) CEO Mikael Jungner has joined the social television startup, Sofanatics' board. Sofanatics is a social television startup where in the first versions users can watch television with others via a web service and share the passion. At the moment Sofanatics is focused around sports. Mikael Jungner, has left YLE as of this month and is now looking forwards to a political career along with some private sector agreements, such as the Sofanatics board seat.
We've done our share of guessing what Sofanatics, a new Finnish stealth startup, is up to with their concept and it seems that finally there's some light being shed to their work. It comes from an interesting source, one of the blogs hosted by Finnish Broadcasting Company. The blog post is titled "Videochat combines home couches during the Olympics".
Yesterday we reported that a big name team has come out with a new startup called Sofanatics. The team consists of Toni Laturi, CEO (former Valve managing director), Asmo Halinen (Apaja co-founder) as well as Sami Kuusela and Peter Nyman, a familiar face in Finnish television as he hosts one of the most known Saturday night shows Uutisvuoto.
We have gathered some further information and believe Sofanatics is a service focusing on sociel viewing. Wikipedia describes a social viewing service as a practice revolving around the ability for multiple users to aggregate from multiple sources and view online videos together in a synchronized viewing experience. Typically the experience also involves some form of instant messaging or communication to facilitate discussion pertaining to the common viewing experience. This would fit our earlier prediction of 'something with video, football and doing all this is a social manner.'
There's a new startup in town called Sofanatics. The company, based in Helsinki Finland, is in its early stages and has nothing but a simple splash screen on their website. Earlier today the team tweeted about this and thus broke the silence regarding the company - at least on the level that who's on board the startup. The team behind the startup is Toni Laturi, CEO (former Valve co-founder managing director), Asmo Halinen (Apaja co-founder) as well as Sami Kuusela and Peter Nyman. Nyman is a familiar face in Finnish television as he hosts one of the most known Saturday night shows Uutisvuoto.