Club-owned football website scores £8.3m
Digital football business Dugout has secured millions of pounds to support its expansion plans in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The company, which has attracted 67 million unique users since its launch in 2016, will also expand its existing operations and has unveiled partnership plans to enhance its technology offering.
The £8.3m investment round was led by renowned US entrepreneurs David and Frank McCourt.
The Dugout website offers behind the scenes content from football clubs and players. Its initial founders include AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, Real Madrid CF, Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur, and Atletico Madrid.
The business represents the first time the world's biggest clubs have joined forces to create a business.
"We're thrilled with how popular the platform has proven so far with fans, as well as the brands and commercial partners we've brought into the fold," said Elliot Richardson, founder and chairman of Dugout.
"This investment keeps that momentum going and partnerships with innovators like ALTV and Alchemy Media both enhance our technology offering and open up key markets like the Middle East and North Africa, where we know our club partners have such huge support."
All 77 clubs have a dedicated Dugout profile to upload content and interact with fans.
The website has a social footprint of 2.1 billion and over 12,500 videos have been posted on the platform by clubs, players and brands.
"Dugout has already done what many thought impossible by bringing the world's top clubs together in one shared enterprise," said David McCourt, founder and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital.
"Now, we want to use this excellent foundation to grow a truly iconic company that inspires fans and brands the world over.
"Our collaboration with Dugout will also enhance the company's tech capabilities and enable it to grow its audience in strategically important markets."