Portfolio Spotlight: PickUp
Year founded: 2018
CEO/founder name(s): Dan Healy: Co-founder, CEO
Chris Meisner: Co-founder, Head of Product
Diana Fox: Head of Marketing
Direct from co-founders Dan Healy and Chris Meisner and head of marketing Diana Fox, hear how Drive by DraftKings portfolio company PickUp is creating the universal fan opinion platform by enabling producers to create and embed shareable questions into content.
Why did you found the company?
“In 2018, it was clear to us that a major transition was about to take place in the world of sports powered by a shift in content consumption, the introduction of sports betting, and the growing importance of immediate gratification and social clout. We recognized that the intersection of these trends would be seen in sports fans’ behaviors across everything from subreddit channels to text conversations, and that there was a way to tie it all together.
The result of that theory and a lot of testing led to the creation of the PickUp platform. At its core, the PickUp platform is a database of conversational prop questions, derived from hyper-focused fandom conversations. Those questions are accessible via our API and are distributed across platforms that already host fans’ conversation, ranging from sports-focused websites to Slack, and soon, your cable TV experience.”
What are major trends, data, talking points, growth possibilities in your sector overall?
“The shift in fan engagement and the growth of sports betting are poised to exceed their already fast-paced growth over the coming years. Now that early adopters have seen success, more states will legalize betting and encourage mobile gaming.
Additionally, sports conversations have become predominantly digital due to the impact on live sports during the pandemic, and currency has taken on a new meaning to a younger demographic, meaning that social clout and accurate sports picks can be more valuable than ever before.”
Where do you see your company fitting into this specific sector? How are you different?
“We have two primary focuses as it relates to our product. First, we are platform agnostic, meaning our props can live anywhere the conversation takes place, from iMessage to TV. Second, we will develop deep personalization, ultimately providing fans with the shareable questions that are hyper relevant to the sports, players and teams they care about.”
Who are some of the leaders in the sector?
“Media companies and platforms owning the sports betting conversation include: Bleacher Report, Barstool Sports, Reddit communities and Twitter personalities.”
What does the investment from Drive by DraftKings mean to you as you grow your company?
“Drive by DraftKings is an ecosystem of the most forward thinking and progressive people in the sports betting, sports media, and igaming space. The unique platform of DraftKings as a backdrop makes testing features in a world of barriers much more manageable, and opens the door to experts who can save months, if not years of research and time.”
Why did Drive by DraftKings invest in PickUp and how do you see them disrupting their sector?
“Innovation happens at the intersection of disciplines, and PickUp is well positioned at the intersection of sports media, betting and fan engagement to address the rising tide of the casual fan. Dan and Chris have great vision, incredible drive and strong conviction to take on this challenge, and have surrounded themselves with an incredible team to put the future they see into action.”
What advice/words of encouragement do you have to other founders/entrepreneurs?
“Persist and persevere. If you are trying to create something that has the potential to define an industry or shift the way people do things at scale, it’s all about testing and having complete and unconditional (sometimes uncomfortable) conviction in your vision. Follow your gut and test, don’t overcommit, and surround yourself with people who bring the things you are trying to communicate to life.”