Crionet buys majority stake in LIGR, Australia's Canva for sports broadcasts

Crionet buys majority stake in LIGR, Australia's Canva for sports broadcasts

LIGR co-founders Adam Burke (left) and Luke McCoy (right) will continue to lead the company and hold a minority stake.

Italian sports technology group Crionet has acquired a majority stake in Sydney-based scale-up LIGR, which could be likened to a Canva for its market niche of making it easier to stream sports broadcasts with professional-quality animated graphics and automated highlights, advertising, social media posts and viewership dashboards. 

Founded in 2016 by Luke McCoy and Adam Burke, LIGR has clients across a diverse spectrum of sports around the world, including American football, soccer, rugby, basketball, and tennis.

In 2020 the company received an initial investment from early stage-focused firm Investible, which in the following year led a $2.1 million pre-Series A round that also drew support from basketball legend Andrew Bogut, MindSpring Capital, and Club Investible syndicate members.

Following Crionet's investment for an undisclosed sum, Investible and all shareholders except the founders exited in cash. McCoy and Burke, who held 65 per cent of LIGR shares prior to the sale, now have a 35 per cent stake and will remain with the company.

McCoy says early shareholders received a 2.5-3x return on their investments.

"We’ve spent years building product and acquiring clients across Australia and around the world whom we’ve been super proud to work with and build the live streaming scene from day one, specifically in Aus," McCoy, the LIGR CEO, says in a LinkedIn post.

"Now we get to push our sights overseas while gearing up with a global team and awesome partners in Gaetano Guarino and Giorgio Garcia-Agreda, founders of Crionet whom I recently spent time with over in Monaco at Sportel. Let's go get it!"

McCoy also has thanked shareholders who have supported LIGR over multiple rounds, as well as the LIGR team.

"I’d also like to say we would be nothing without all of our employees, past and present, who without them we could never have built such an awesome product and technology that has landed us in a very exciting situation moving forward," he says.

"On a business note, LIGR Live will remain the same, still being led by Adam and I with a growing team and new global resources to push the product forward into bigger and better things. 

"We’ll be hiring across engineering, product, design, marketing, commercial and operations, so anyone interested please reach out to me personally."

In a statement, McCoy and Burke say that in partnership with Crionet, LIGR will be able to expand its distribution globally, and enhance its product and foray into new sports.

"We are thrilled to be joining the Crionet Group and look forward to working with them to make live graphics, streaming and highlights more efficient for sporting teams, leagues and broadcasters efficient globally," the co-founders say.

Crionet founders Garcia-Agreda and Guarino are enthusiastic about the strategic acquisition.

"This marks a crucial step toward realizing our ambition of offering comprehensive solutions to rights holders, leagues and broadcasting partners worldwide," they say in a joint statement.

"We are thrilled to provide them with cutting-edge technologies such as the new generation of live graphics and innovative automatic streaming and highlights, while continuing to maintain our commitment to providing best-in-class service on a global scale."

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