TraceMe, a Seattle, WA-based mobile-first platform that gives fans access to the worlds of their favorite elite athletes, artists, and celebrities, raised $9 million in series A funding.
The round was led by Madrona Venture Group, with participation from angel investors Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos), Chad Hurley (cofounder of YouTube), Joe Tsai (cofounder of Alibaba), Mike Mahan (President of Dick Clark Productions), and Kenny Dichter (founder of Wheels Up).
Co-founded by Executive Chairman Russell Wilson, Super Bowl champion and the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, and CEO Jason LeeKeenan, TraceMe is building a platform, which gives fans exclusive access to elite athletes, artists, and celebrities via an always-on feed of original content, daily personal updates, and unique channels to ask questions and engage. TraceMe was born at Pioneer Square Labs, a startup studio in Seattle, WA.
“I’ve dreamed about launching TraceMe for a long time and I am excited to finally see it come to fruition,” said Wilson, TraceMe’s Founder and Executive Chairman. “I have worked super hard with the world class team at TraceMe to make this become a reality for our fans.”
“Now that it’s football season, my number one priority is leading the Seahawks to another Super Bowl victory,” he added. “TraceMe is going to help me on that journey by providing me with a direct line to my most passionate supporters who drive my motivation throughout this amazing season.”
TraceMe leverages a range of mobile-first storytelling techniques. It marries these with a daily dose of original content, including broadcast-quality interviews, training programs, and exclusive behind the scenes footage.
“We think there’s a gap for the most passionate fans out there,” said TraceMe CEO Jason LeeKeenan, a media and technology executive formerly of Hulu and Zulily. “Our vision for TraceMe is to define a new category for superfan engagement. When the floodlights are shut off at a big game or a sell-out show, the smartphone offers the best place for a superfan to immerse themselves in the worlds of their favorite artists, athletes, and entertainers. We want to give them the VIP experience they’ve always dreamed of.”
LeeKeenan believes there is incredible potential at the intersection of exclusive content, world class technology, and two way interaction. “In many ways, our vision is to reinvent the fan club for the mobile-first era,” he said. “To create a set of always-on, exclusive, and engaging worlds for each of the icons that we partner with. We will lead the way with Russell, but this goes much further than his superfans. TraceMe is for all superfans of entertainers, celebrities, athletes, and more.”