Chinese digital sports data company LeidaSports has announced that it has secured a US$1.5 million investment from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Handnice Capital.
LeidaSports, which provides a host of sports data information and betting services, will also merge with leading Chinese sports application Sports Craze, which has an active user base of more than five million.
Under the new operating arrangement, LeidaSports and Sports Craze will collaborate to supply sports data and various content to sports content provider across China. Data will be provided through LeidaSports’ existing partnership with leading sports and betting-related data company Sportradar.
Via the Leidasports/Sports Craze network, customers in China will soon have access to a wide range of virtual sports games, in addition to a play-for-fun sportsbook.
The two brands will also work together to develop a range of betting services for the Chinese Super League domestic club football competition. This will include betting services on the Leidasports/Sports Craze website and mobile application, combined with other related betting services that will target the entertainment and e-sports sector.
Kai Sun, co-founder of LeidaSports, said: “The two sides will develop rich sporting data and games based on European football and basketball leagues. Fans across the world will be able to experience the joy and passion that football matches bring to them, just like we see in the English Premier League.”
Guozhou,Wang, investment manager at Alibaba Group, added: “We are very proud be part of Leida Group/Sports Craze. Alibaba Group, together with Ali Sports, will set up a strategic partnership with Leida through its subsidiaries such as Alibaba Lottery, U.C Web and Alipay.”
The announcement of the investment and new launch comes after LeidaSports and Sports Craze announced a deal with Alibaba subsidiary U.C Web, a company that provides hosted sports data information to over 100 million customers. The deal also includes the provision of similar services to the Toutiao, Ailibaba Lottery, Sohu Lottery and Heilongjiang Sports Lottery websites.
In September 2015, Alibaba Group secured a collaboration with media corporation Sina and private equity firm Yunfeng Capital to establish Ali Sports, with the goal of transforming the Chinese sports industry. In November, Alibaba then agreed a deal to acquire leading Chinese video streaming firm Youku to support the project.
In the medium-term, Ali Sports will work with the Leida Group on e-sports initiatives with leading sports competitions such as the North American NFL American football league and National Collegiate Athletic Association college sports conferences.