Data Skrive, which sells content automation tech to news outlets and sportsbooks, raises $7M

Data Skrive helps generate online content such as news stories for sites like ESPN. (Data Skrive Image)

Data Skrive, a Seattle startup that automates the creation of sports-related content, has raised $7 million in a round led by Bettor Capital.

The company helps news outlets such as the Associated Press and ESPN produce online content. It also sells its software to sports leagues, sportsbooks and university athletic departments.

Data Skrive originally started as Hero Sports, a company founded in 2014 that focused on college sports news content. It implemented software to help automate story production, and then attracted the attention of media outlets such as AP, which began using the tech to create its own stories.

Now some of the company’s clients are purchasing more than one million articles per year.

Data Skrive is also riding tailwinds from increased legalization around sports betting. Some digital channels don’t allow advertising around sports betting, so gambling companies are turning to organic content as a user acquisition strategy, said co-founder Jordan Nilsen. That’s good news for a company like Data Skrive.

“In some regions around the world, regulations are getting tighter and squeezing margins, so the unit economics of content automation acts as a mitigator, as well as growth tool,” Nilsen said.

Data Skrive’s machine learning-powered engine helps create unique content based on topics of interest and particular goals of a client. It is also formatted for specific distribution channels.

Brad Weitz, a veteran startup advisor with marketing technology expertise, took over as CEO in 2017 and continues to lead the company, which now has 24 employees.

Jake Kleiner, investment partner at Bettor Capital, has joined the board as a result of the new funding.

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