Venture Capital

Fantasy Sports App Sleeper Rises With $40 Million

SAN FRANCISCO — Sleeper, which operates a fast-growing fantasy sports app, has awoken with a $40 million Series C fundraising round. This round of funding was led by Andreessen Horowitz, who was also the lead investor in Sleeper’s Series B round.

Founded in 2018, the company said it has more than doubled its user base this year, exceeding 3 million active users, it now also boasts a top-50 user retention ranking in the app store. According to Sleeper CEO, Nan Wang, when people enter Sleeper’s fantasy sports world, they stay, and they engage.

“Our mission from day one has been to bring people together through sports and that’s what we’re seeing happening inside of our app. Typically, when a product doubles its user base, engagement goes down. That hasn’t been the case for Sleeper. As we’ve exceeded our own growth expectations this year, our engagement has gone up. Sleeper is more than a fantasy sports app, it’s a place to hang out with your friends, and it’s for that reason that our users stay active and keep coming back.”

General Partners David George and Andrew Chen co-led the investment on behalf of Andreessen Horowitz. In addition, all prior existing lead investors also participated in the round. Notable angel investors include current and former NBA athletes Klay Thompson (Thompson Family Foundation); Shane Battier; and Baron Davis, NFL cornerback Byron Jones, sports commentator Ros Gold-Onwude, Twitch and Gold House co-founder Kevin Lin, NerdWallet co-founder Tim Chen, and Thirty Five Ventures co-founders Rich Kleiman and Kevin Durant are also investors in the company.

“Sleeper’s multiplayer experience is all about helping sports fans connect with their friends, leading to strong engagement, retention, and organic growth–similar to what we can see on social apps,” said Andrew Chen, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Sleeper board member. “I’m thrilled my partners leading the a16z growth fund wanted to invest further as the Sleeper team builds the go-to sporting community.”

Sleeper plans to use the new funds to expand the game offerings on its platform and is in the process of building a new feature called Wallet that will enable users to sync their preferred payment methods to the platform. According to Wang, all Sleeper users currently transact with each other in one way or another off-platform, and Wallet will bring all sports-related transactions on-platform, enabling Sleeper to monetize in a natural way.