When Adeel Vanthaliwala, co-founder of Toronto-based startup StatsLight.com was playing All-Star football in high school, he wanted to know how he measured up against other players his age. Inspired by his younger sister’s current pursuits in lacrosse, Vanthaliwala began looking for online stats on how other players were performing in Canada. He couldn’t find anything that really allowed the athletes to promote themselves.
“Most of the other amateur athlete websites are very recruiter and coach-focused – touching only about twenty per cent of the high school athletes at most,” says Vanthaliwala. “But those sites don’t speak to the true passion of the players – who want to share their own stats online, and see how they rank compared to their competitors.”
Six months ago, Vanthaliwala and his co-founder Abdul Basit Munda quit their comfortable consulting and IT jobs to focus exclusively on StatsLight.com – a user-generated sports stats website which allows high school athletes across North America to promote their own stats, highlights and accomplishments all in one place for free.
When they founded the company, a little over a year ago, Vanthaliwala and Basit Munda reached out to the Region of Peel Secondary Schools Athletic Association (ROPSSAA), which is comprised of about 100 coaches in Peel, Ontario. The ROPSSAA coaches really liked their idea but were concerned about the amount of work involved to upload all of the player content.
“The content really needs to be user-generated by the athletes themselves,” says Vanthaliwala.
StatsLight launched in beta about six months ago. Since then, Vanthaliwala and Basit Munda have been doing a lot of testing and development – inviting local Ontario athletes to try it out and give them feedback. They attended high profile rugby and soccer tournaments to drive sign-ups.
With more than 500 Ontario high school students registered, StatsLight is now ready to start promoting the site on a broader scale.
“The next six months are going to be very telling,” says Vanthaliwala. “We currently have about 40 teams registered with our service. We hope to grow that number to 150 teams, starting in Ontario, and reach about 10,000 users by the end of July.”
To incentivize sign-ups, StatsLight offers awards to users who share a lot of content on the site.
“Currently, it is all about beefing-up your sports profile on StatsLight with awards for multiple purposes - being recognized, bragging rights, showing the awards to recruiters. So far, these incentives are what have excited our users the most.”
The startup plans to make money by generating sponsorships from brands that are interested in targeting high school athletes. Long-term, StatsLight plans to offer subscription-based services to private sports leagues.