The popularity of video content is still growing. DEPO Ventures is investing in South African Pulse
Startup Pulse from Cape Town wants to change established habits in the field of streaming. Their goal is to transfer the experience of streaming e-sports to outdoor sports (similar to Twitch platform). Pulse wants to enable athletes to bring live broadcasts of their performances, in the so-called POV mode, ie point of view, where the viewer sees a shot from a first-person perspective. Currently, they are receiving a total investment of 275,000 euros, with 75,000 euros invested by Grouport, part of DEPO Ventures, and 200,000 euros invested by Vunani Capital and a syndication of angel investors, including Přemysl Trojan, a Czech investor living in Cape Town. Pulse wants to raise a total of 500,000 euros in this round, which plans to use to grow the team and complete tools for content creators.
"Although we are looking for partners for our investments mostly in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), we also cooperate with several projects outside this region. And this is also the case of the South African Pulse which we found through the Pulse’s team member and member of our angel network, who is from the Czech Republic. Without this connection, there would probably not have been an investment," says Petr Šíma, founder and CEO of DEPO Ventures.
Athletes to athletes
Although all kinds of outdoor sports are currently on the rise, traditional broadcast channels do not provide them with enough room. For amateur athletes, there is no platform aimed at sharing only sport content, and the content on social media networks is often fragmented or not even accessible. Professional athletes also have more followers than the teams or brands under which they compete, but their content is difficult for fans to reach. That's why Pulse comes in. With its solution, Pulse wants to enable fans to experience performance live, from the point of view of the athlete himself, but at the same time give fans the opportunity to become their own content creator and build their own network.
"We believe that streaming sports should be as easy as streaming video games. We want Pulse to be synonymous with Twitch in sports. So, an athlete, whether professionals or amateurs, have the opportunity to experience sports performance in full force. The current investment will help us expand our team, complete the most important functions and attract the right athletes who will become a motivation for others," says one of the founders of Pulse, Armand du Plessis.
Starting with GoPro, ending with Pulse Wear
In the first phase, Pulse wants to achieve its goal by making maximum use of GoPro action cameras. Especially by simplified processing of recorded content, which is currently time consuming to select or edit recorded images. The platform will allow easy synchronization on both desktop and mobile devices, or automated selection of the best moments. Subsequently, for the next phase, they plan to develop their own "Pulse Wear" , which eliminates the need to wear various straps or uncomfortable accessories during sports. Thanks to their hardware, it will then be possible to broadcast any sports performance to the platform directly from the athlete's point of view. In the beginning, they want to focus mainly on running, climbing and cycling.
Never ending line of Startups
"We always choose those projects that we believe have a chance to start a sector that others would not even embark on. In the case of Pulse, it is a bet on the trend 'creator economy', enabling professional athletes not only to distribute content in a new attractive way, but especially to monetize it. Armand combines the unique profile of a professional ultra-runner and an experienced developer who has already led one startup to success. We are pleased that we can be with Armand and the whole team,” adds Grouport partner Michal Ciffra.
With its unique concept of committed investment, the Angel Fund Grouport responds to the lack of "smart" financing of early technological startups in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. Thus, top managers and business owners have the opportunity to participate in the fund's activities, provide their expertise, develop a network of contacts, and help increase the value of the portfolio. The fund has invested in projects such as SmartGuide, TATUM, Spendee or BikeFair.