Crossbar, a St. Louis-based startup that provides software designed to help youth sports clubs more easily manage their operations, plans to expand its team after raising $750,000 in seed funding., an investment fund for prominent St. Louis entrepreneurs David Karandish and Chris Sims, led the seed financing. Local venture capital firm Cultivation Capital was also in on the deal. Karandish and Sims were founders of technology firm Answers Corp. and also launched artificial intelligence startup Capacity.
“Crossbar has everything you look for in an investment. Great team, product-market fit and impressive growth for a company that bootstrapped their first 100 customers,” Karandish said.
Led by founder and CEO Chris DeGroat, Crossbar’s software aims to help youth sports organizations manage their operations through features that help in areas like website design, tracking their finances, scheduling games and practices and communicating with players’ parents.
“Every week we meet with new clubs who come to us through existing customers. One of our primary focuses is building a true partnership with our customers. Most of these organizations are run by volunteers, so we work with them on a daily basis to help make their lives easier,” DeGroat said.
DeGroat launched Crossbar based on his experience as a board member of St. Peters Hockey Club. He said the youth hockey organization struggled to find a vendor to help it manage its day-to-day operations.
“We just weren’t happy with what was on the market,” he said.
Crossbar says it is currently used by more than 100 sports organizations in 19 U.S. states and that it expects to expand its technology to Canada by year’s end. Locally, its users include St. Peters Hockey Club, Chesterfield Hockey Association and CarShield AAA Hockey.
The seed funding for Crossbar comes as it has experienced revenue growth in the past two years. It says its annual revenue grew year over year by 44% in 2020 and 241% in 2022. Crossbar currently has a team of eight. DeGroat said the financing will help it more rapidly expand its headcount. It recently hired a pair of software engineers and a customer success lead. It is currently hiring for a growth marketing associate and plans to add to its sales team, DeGroat said.
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