UPDATE: Software Startup for Referees Seeking $250K. Whistle Seeking These Funds to Evolve Out of Its Beta Phase…

An Irvine startup that created an app — which connects referees with organized sporting events — is seeking $250,000 minimum, with a goal of $650,000.

Whistle already raised $100,000 out of the original $2 million it was seeking last year in a formal seed round. See related story on that here

The company has since shifted gears from that seed round to increasing its pre-seed investment, as it needed to prove its traction to investors, CEO Oliver Barton told OC Startups Now.

The company is seeking to move out of its beta phase, in which it received revenue.

Whistle is poised to release its first full version of app features. The startup’s reach has grown “organically” across 12 states, Barton said.

He provided a summary of what’s transpired during Whistle’s beta period:

– transaction sales are up by 1,124% over this time last year (Barton projects 100,000 transactions this year, based on securing the necessary working capital to sustain the company’s product development roadmap, growth channels and team expansion.)

– It raised a pre-seed round of $320,000 via Hickory VC

– It’s raised $100,000 to date

– It was one the finalists for the 2019 Capital Sports Innovation Conference

– The app has approximately 3,300 monthly active users.

– Whistle has seen more than 10,000 downloads of its app

– It acquired a company: Rent-A-Ref, a national sports officiating platform. See related article about the acquisition here

– Prominent customers of Whistle include Nike

– The non-executive team includes Dean Blandino, the former SVP of NFL officiating and a Fox Sports rules analyst

In December, Whistle announced a nationwide partnership, which spans more than 32 regions and cities here in SoCal, with National Flex Football, a platform for youth football programs.

The partnership launches across Ventura County, LA and OC this month.

National Flex Football has created an entry point to the game that provides a “realistic” experience and 9 vs. 9 gameplay style, which it claims provides a “true” football feel, with no head or shoulder contact, as well as no tackling.

Whistle’s HQ is at the Vine in University Research Park.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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