Into surfing? These Carlsbad guys built an app to stream surf competitions
Carlsbad startup Stact plans to stream less mainstream sports like surfing and snowboarding
Two entrepreneurs in Carlsbad are building an app for fans of surfing and other less mainstream sports, letting fans watch live competitions from their phones or computers.
The startup, called Stact, makes software that helps event organizers set up contests, get athletes registered and keep track of scoring. On the fan side, people can watch live-streamed events that currently aren’t publicized and keep tabs on their favorite athletes. The app serves fans of niche sports such as skateboarding, bodyboarding and surfing.
Stact was founded by two sports fans and serial entrepreneurs Jeran Fraser and Michael Jegat. The duo randomly crossed paths playing basketball at the Encinitas Community Center and got to talking about startups and sports. Fraser is the founder of Incubate Ventures, a coworking space in Carlsbad, while Jegat founded a surfing video game startup. They became quick friends and later joined forces to launch Stact in 2017.
The idea for the app struck Jegat when he was in Paris yearning to watch a surf competition in California. Just days ago, he had watched a college basketball game on his phone.
“I’m a big SDSU fan, so I follow the games and scores on my phone,” Jegat said. “The next day there was a surf competition, and I tried to find a way to watch it. But it was impossible.”
They also saw an opportunity to take the work off the plates of event directors and contest organizers.
“In other sports, judges have software connected to the cloud,” Fraser said. “They judge an event and those scores are publicized online. But in (these) sports, they’re all using pen and paper.”
Stact’s software serves as an event management platform for the companies or people organizing these competitions. The app simplifies things like athlete registration and event planning, then allows for broadcasting and live tour rankings. A longer-term goal is to enable athletes to build out professional profiles that amass performance and scoring data, which could help line up sponsorship dollars. Fraser said over 11,000 athletes have signed up to use the app.
The startup makes money in a couple of ways. It takes 6 percent of the registration fees paid by the athletes to sign up for an event, and later on, it will have premium pay-per-view content. Last month, Stact generated about $70,000 in revenue — their best month yet.
Michael Witz, who was an early investor in the startup, said he was impressed by the size of Stact’s customer base.
“With all the (niche) sports combined, you’re potentially serving a massive audience,” Witz said. “It has the potential to have monopoly power.”
The company now employs eight people, who work out of Fraser’s coworking space in Carlsbad. The startup has a lot on its plate, as Fraser and Jegat have just signed a long-term contract with Stab Magazine, a surfing publication that organizes surf contests around the globe.
Stact was used by Stab in June to plan its Stab High surf contest in Waco, Texas. By October, pay-per-view Stab events will be available through the Stact app.
The app is available on iOS, Android, Mac and Windows.
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