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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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Dylan: I’m going to keep reminding you until it’s over: 50 on Fire is this Thursday! Don’t forget to check out this Q&A we did with some of our finalists, including PayPal Media vet David Chang, Wayfair exec Bob Sherwin and Follain CEO Tara Foley.



The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Dylan: For a little over a year, DraftKings has stopped calling itself a daily fantasy sports company and has instead positioned itself as a “sports entertainment company.” That vision became a lot clearer today when the Boston company announced that it is expanding into the business of streaming live sports games.

The company’s first foray into live streaming is being done in partnership with Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, Europe’s top-tier professional basketball league. As part of the agreement, customers will be able to stream EuroLeague games directly from their DraftKings app and “seamlessly toggle between fantasy contests and live content,” as stated in a press release issued today.

While the EuroLeague deal is big for DraftKings, it won’t exactly turn too many heads in its largest market, the United States. However, this is a clear signal from the company that it wants a piece of the growing pie of livestreamed sports events. Big tech companies are starting to stake their claims to digital streaming rights, with Amazon paying $50M this year to livestream 10 Thursday night NFL games and Facebook offering $600M to stream cricket games in India before its deal was trumped by a $2.5B offer from Star India Private Ltd.

With DraftKings’ entrance into live streaming, it could offer sports leagues something more attractive than social media platforms like Facebook: rabid sports fans who aren’t just soaking up advertising but are also spending significant money on daily and season-long fantasy contests. The question is whether these livestream deals will help DraftKings expand its audience or alienate people who don’t want to feel like they need to buy into a daily fantasy sports ecosystem.

After hiring former CBS executive Ezra Kucharz as its new chief business officer last month, we can expect DraftKings to continue making moves in this space and turn into a media company that we have not seen the likes of before.



In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.


Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves in Boston.

Lucy: Raizlabs, a mobile app development firm headquartered in downtown Boston, is getting acquired by Chicago-based customer experience agency Rightpoint. Financial details were not disclosed. Raizlabs founder and CEO Gregory Raiz will join Rightpoint’s leadership team as chief innovation officer, based in Boston. The Raizlabs office in Oakland, Calif. will become Rightpoint’s ninth U.S. office, while the Raizlabs and Rightpoint Boston offices will join forces. Read more: App Development Firm Raizlabs Gets Acquired by Chicago-Based Agency 

Dylan: TripAdvisor is not having a good day. The company’s stock price nosedived by around 20% today, which wiped out $1B in market value and represented the company’s single largest stock drop in its history, BBJ reported. The company had missed Wall Street’s expectations on revenue by $12.8M for Q3 as its hotel bookings revenue continues to slide. There is a bright side, however: the company’s non-hotel revenue grew 26% year-over-year. The problem is that it’s less than half of the hotel revenue TripAdvisor brought in.

Lucy: Osram, whose U.S. headquarters is in Wilmington, Mass., announced that it’s establishing a joint venture with German auto parts manufacturer Continental for intelligent lighting solutions in the automotive sector. The joint venture, which will operate under the name Osram Continental GmbH, is scheduled to start in 2018.


New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Lucy: Panorama Education, a Boston-based startup promoting a data-driven approach to the overall assessment of students, raised $16M in a Series B round led by Emerson Collective, with participation from Spark CapitalOwl VenturesSoftTechVC and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. In an interview, CEO and co-founder of Panorama Education Aaron Feuer told me that the Series B round will be used primarily to invest in three areas of the business, including product development. Read more: Panorama Education Raises $16M Series B to Expand Into More Schools 

Dylan: ThirdChannel, a provider of real-time data analytics for brick-and-mortar retail stores, raised a $7M Series A round led by Fung Capital. The company’s CEO and founder Gina Ashe previously co-founded Krush and Sermo, as reported by Xconomy.


In The Community

The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.

Dylan: Shoobx, a Boston startup that provides a platform for corporate legal work, is hosting its inaugural Shoobx Drive conference on Nov. 14, which will run from noon to 7 p.m. at Hatch Fenway. Speakers include Melissa James of The Tech Connection, Diane Hessan of C Space, Eric Paley of Founder Collective and Michael Skok of Underscore.VC. BostInno readers can get 50% off admission with this discount code: lastminute. Find more Boston tech & startup events in BostInno Approved.


Read This Right Now

Insight and analysis from the community and beyond.

Dylan: John Bauer, a partner at Lawson & Weitzen, has been following Massachusetts’ multiple attempts at noncompete reform and wrote in a new blog post on Casetext about whether partial garden leave would really change noncompete practices in the state: “So how will noncompete practice (as opposed to noncompete law) change if H.2371 were to become law? Probably very little. Why? The system of incentives and disincentives governing employee and employer conduct would not be significantly impacted.”



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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin
dmartin@americaninno.com

Lucia Maffei
lmaffei@americaninno.com

Kyle Gross
kgross@americaninno.com

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