Devon fan engagement AI firm touches down in Dallas

Devon-based fan engagement companyFilmily is delivering AI solutions for international sports brands including The Dallas Cowboys, The San Francisco 49ers and The US Tennis Open to revolutionise how live events are viewed. The company has also partnered with US sport agency, Wasserman.

Posted on: 02/08/2021

It has raised $375,000, completed an IP audit and in addition to the US has expanded into Asia, all with help from Innovate UK EDGE.

Andy Doyle, Co-Founder of Filmily, describes a typical use case with the Dallas Cowboys: “We integrate with the club’s app which shows a spectacular touchdown and encourages fans to cheer at the camera. Our platform then collects that footage and within 30 seconds, creates mosaics for big screens, pitch-side advertising boards, TV and social media – where viewers can see thousands of fans cheering.”

Filmily’s AI selects content based on fan’s age, race and gender, their emotions, the brands they’re wearing or consuming, their location, how much the camera is moving and even their altitude; to determine whether they’re at pitch level or sitting higher up in the stands.

“If the Dallas Cowboys want to present themselves as a family NFL team, we can create mosaics displaying predominantly women and children from a diverse range of backgrounds – all smiling, wearing the correct merchandise and drinking the sponsor’s soft drink.”

Filmily also creates personalised videos for the individual fan to share on social media. At the 2020 US Tennis Open, Filmily received 36,000 fan films and created 9,000 unique movies.

Investment readiness support from Innovate UK EDGE

To fund its platform development, Filmily secured a £235,000 Innovate UK grant in 2019 and joined Pitchfest, Innovate UK EDGE’s investment readiness programme.

“The Pitchfest coaching really helped us to structure our pitch and stand out from the competition,” says Andy. “A private investor offered us £30,000 on pitch day and in May 2021, he invested in us again.”

Since Pitchfest, Filmily has gone on to raise $375,000 from Stadia Ventures, based in Missouri, and aims to raise another $340,000. The business is now valued at $7m.

International support from Innovate UK EDGE

In June 2020, Andy began work with Innovate UK EDGE innovation and growth specialist, Carolyn Hooker, who set about identifying new international opportunities for Filmily.

“Carolyn is a key resource,” says Andy, “I was recently concerned about market access into China, and within a few days of speaking to Carolyn, she had set up a meeting with an in-country representative at the Department for International Trade, who introduced me to key organisations including the Chinese Super League.”

“That encouragement and proactiveness has made Filmily more global and resilient – I don’t think we would have expanded into the US without her support.”

IP support for AI solution

Carolyn next arranged for Filmily to receive IP advice from Innovate UK EDGE IP Specialist, Kate Butler, and go on to participate in the UK’s IP Audits Scheme.

“The IP audit was great – we now have patents and trademarks registered in the UK, with more following in the US and Europe, enabling us to grow securely.”

Innovate UK EDGE will continue to support as this Devon-based business partners with more iconic sporting, music and hospitality brands, enabling fans to engage like never before.

I don’t think we would have expanded into the US without the support of our specialist.

– Andy Doyle, Co-Founder of Filmily

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