Lamar Jackson-Backed Virtual Reality Business Gets Fresh Funding
(Bloomberg) -- StatusPro Inc., a sports technology business backed by NFL star Lamar Jackson, is raising new funds to help bring its virtual reality training programs into more locker rooms and expand into video games.
Venture capital firms KB Partners and TitletownTech, a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft Corp., led the $5.2 million round. Other investors included Greycroft, Verizon Ventures and 49ers Enterprises, which is affiliated with San Francisco’s NFL team, and the Cleveland Browns-linked Haslam Sports Group.
The company’s training products, which use virtual reality headsets, simulate practices and game scenarios to facilitate more mental reps for players, but without the wear-and-tear of the practice field.
The business made inroads with the NFL last year by bringing on Jackson, the All-Pro quarterback, as an investor and endorser. It released a suite of products co-branded with the one-time league Most Valuable Player.
Co-founders Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins and Troy Jones, both former football players, said in an interview that new funding will go to product development and marketing to attract more users. They’re also in the early stages of developing games for regular consumers.
Hawkins said players who used the tool would find it’s “actually kind of fun” and wouldn’t want to take off the headset. “That’s what sparked the idea for us,” he said, referring to the company’s gaming aspirations.
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