Cricketer-run web platform Behind The Seams is making its debut today.
The all-things cricket subscription service, offering users exclusive video interviews with big-name cricket stars and tips for upcoming players, today launches in New Zealand with five videos and will launch in India on October 6.
READ MORE: • Kiwi web service taps into India's love of cricket
Behind The Seams is looking to raise $450,000 in return for 30 per cent of the company, valuing it at $1.5 million.
As part of the raise, friends and family have bought 10 per cent of the firm for $150,000 and local venture capital group VMG has also bought that size stake at the same price. The remaining 10 per cent is being sold through crowd-funding platform Equitise.
Veteran cricket commentator Scott Styris holds 25 per cent of the firm, former CricHQ executive chairman Mike Loftus 20 per cent, and former Blackcap and Indian Premier League (IPL) cricketer Mitchell McClenaghan 5 per cent.
Alex Rallis, an investment analyst at VMG, said it had been looking for a subscription-based sporting venture to invest in when it came across Behind The Seams.
"We've been looking in this exclusive content, subscription service space for a little while now, which has been taking off and has had a little bit of success in New Zealand and abroad. Seeing the team that Mike and Scott pulled together, and the fact that essentially everyone involved in the business has a personal stake in it is really exciting," Rallis said.
"They are quite excited by the potential for this to really help out cricket players, and give them supplementary revenue streams."
VMG will be involved with Behind The Seams's investment strategy, Rallis said.
McClenaghan, Styris and former cricketer Simon Doull are the main interviewers.
Behind The Seams has been in the making for 18 months, with the first videos filmed in December last year. Loftus and Styris founded the business, a concept bought about from Styris' popularity in India.
"If you walk anywhere with any big names in India they just get mobbed, it's crazy, they are celebrity stars in India for being cricket commentators," Loftus said.
They are quite excited by the potential for this to really help out cricket players, and give them supplementary revenue streams.
India is a huge focus for the business, Loftus said.
"With the Indian market, we estimate there are at least 120, possibly even 150, million people that are in our target in that market so we don't need a large percentage of those to be hitting some very nice numbers," he said.
"The potential there is absolutely enormous."
In coming weeks other videos will include interviews with Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Glenn Maxwell, Ryan Harris, Sir Richard Hadlee and Sophie Devine.
Loftus said the concept had received amazing feedback so far and believed it would be well-received in India.
"The price point of $1.99 per month is something everyone around the world can afford, so if you're a cricket fan or even a 12 year-old kid in New Zealand or Australia, even with a bit of pocket money it is affordable, and that's how we've tried to price it" he said. "The content that we're bringing is really exclusive - it's the stuff people don't get to see through the broadcasts, so it gives people a very different view of cricket and the way it all works."