A Rochester-based startup that designs and distributes fantasy football statistical analysis software recently raised $150,000.
Advanced Sports Logic Inc., a Rochester-based startup that designs and distributes virtual football analytics software, has raised more than $150,000 in a separate debt and equity offering. The company’s founder and CEO, Leonard Lapadula, told NHBR that he plans to use the money to accelerate the development of new products.
Lapadula, a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, joined the company in 2009 following a career in electrical engineering — including working on the first GPS chip while at Texas Instruments.
His company currently offers three products for fantasy football players. Advanced SportsLogic’s flagship product, The Machine, uses a win-based prediction and analysis engine to recommend draft picks, trade decisions and lineup choices. Trade Judge, an objective tool used to eliminate unfair trades in leagues, and Projection Site, a program that generates new evaluation sets, are the company’s two other products.
Q. What got you into fantasy football statistical analysis?
A. I have loved football for as long as I can remember. So when a friend asked me in 2003 if I wanted to join a fantasy football league, I didn’t hesitate. From the very beginning, I set out to win using math and automation. Every year I had bigger and bigger Excel sheets and deeper and deeper analysis, and every year my team was terrible.
Then in the summer of 2009 I had a new idea. The basic idea has two parts: we should make decisions based on how they affect the things we care about the most, our chances of winning; And to calculate the probability of winning, we need to model the entire fantasy football season with probability distributions.
I spent that summer program on Visual Basic every day and every spare minute I had after work, and when our draft was set to begin in August, I had to ask the commissioner for an extra six hours to complete the program. That was the first draft of the machine. He took a wide receiver in the first round and a tight end in the second round, and everyone in my league was less than impressed.
Well, that team won the first six games in a row and headed into the playoffs with the highest fantasy points. Every decision I made that year was directly in my Visual Basic program. Our attempt to build a production version in 2010 was unsuccessful. I finally quit my full-time job and in 2011 2011 I programmed the math for the production version and haven’t stopped since.
I was so determined that I sold my house and didn’t even take a salary for the first two years. I now make a very small salary and live cheaply so I can pay my team to get this off the ground.
Q. What do you intend to use the money raised in the equity offering?
A. With more funding we can go faster. We currently have what we need, but additional funding will speed up our projects related to estimates.
I have a core team of five people and several part-time people to improve and expand our products. We are building on the value we are building around our core technology with cornering rings.
Q. What type of investor is interested in your company?
A. Our best investors are friends and employees who are passionate about fantasy sports and advanced sports logic.
Q. What has your team been up to this year?
A. This year we will be focusing a lot on our dynasty product. The Machine: Dynasty optimizes teams for three years, not just for the current year.
The machine is sold 12 months a year. Believe it or not, a lot of people play in Dynasty League. Between the months of November and April, we had a 30 percent renewal of 2012 customers with our 2013 Dynasty product. It is good to have a product for sale 12 months out of the year where there is no competition.
Our league partners are also realizing the value of this because when one of our customers buys a dynasty league product in November, the league provider locks them into that league for an additional year before they start marketing leagues. next year.
The feedback from our customers has been amazing.
Q. What are you working on in the future?
A. We are building our own automatic projection system. Working with Worcester Polytechnic Institute, we spent two years defining the system we use to measure projection quality. Our estimates are the most accurate in the industry, and we know the accuracy before each phase begins. By designing a proprietary system, we have demonstrated high quality in box output.
However, we are not planning to sell these forecasts directly. We want to facilitate the fantasy sports industry, not compete with it. So we have another product called Projection Station – I was in India working with one of my developers to start production of Projection Station.
We are also developing mobile and tablet versions of the machine.
Q. Consider developing similar tools for other fantasy sports?
A. Next year we plan to add baseball and basketball, and after that international sports.