Since completing the New Frontiers programme in 2013, Pundit Arena has gone from strength to strength. The company has raised €650,000 from angel investors that will see a doubling of its workforce. Timing is everything, especially when scaling a start-up, and Pundit Arena has become the game changer in sports journalism. The number of visitors to their site has grown from 300 users when it started to the now 1.4m monthly users and the team has expanded from just Richard and Ross, to nine staff with over 250 writers. Ross O’Dwyer said this major investment would enable the company to double its staff to 20 people in the coming months.
Among the angel investors are Conor Mallaghan, owner of the Irish rugby team’s base, Carton House, and serial entrepreneur, Colm Lyon. Mr Lyon, who sold his online business Realex Payments to US firm Global Payments for €115m last year and led the Pundit Arena investment round, said he sees huge potential for the company to grow in 2016. “The team at Pundit Arena are outstanding and they have achieved enormous traction to date. The global scalability, current adoption rates, and the highly talented team all combined to make this a very exciting investment for us. We are really looking forward to supporting the team as the business accelerates during 2016 and beyond,” he said.
Ross O’Dwyer is just one of many examples of success stories from past participants on the New Frontiers programme at WIT. Following a period of intensive entrepreneurial training, Ross, with co-founder Richard Barrett established their start-up Pundit Arena in November 2013. Cleverly titled, Pundit Arena is a crowd sourced sports media reporting business that is essentially democratising journalism by using sports pundits to generate content, not journalists. Their tagline on Twitter says it all “Pundit Arena is changing sports media, come change it with us”.