Q&A with FanFeedr founder and CEO Ty Ahmad-Taylor

By Editor May 2, 2011

FanFeedr logo

FanFeedr is a sports enthusiast website that allows fans to follow and get news and information about favorite teams. The Brooklyn, NY-based company was founded in 2008.

SUB: Please describe how your service works. What is the user experience like?

Ahmad-Taylor: FanFeedr delivers personalized real-time streams for a user’s favorite teams and players. Like the New York Yankees? We give you all of the best Yankees news and information directly on FanFeedr.com, Facebook, Twitter, and through our award-winning mobile applications.

On the website, users can simply add their favorite teams and players to their FanFeed after signing in. The home page of the site refreshes every minute of every day with new, personalized news. On Facebook, a user can simply become a fan of the favorite team, like the Yankees, to get the best Yankees News and Information delivered right into their Facebook news stream.

On Twitter, a user simply has to follow their favorite team on FanFeedr, like the Yankees, to get all of the Yankees news and information, live scores and photos. On our mobile applications, the user experience is exactly like the website: add your favorite teams and get a constantly-updated stream of news and information.

SUB: What differentiates FanFeedr from other sports-enthusiast websites?

Ahmad-Taylor: Other sports websites like ESPN and Yahoo Sports do a great job covering sports stories from an editorial perspective. FanFeedr provides the best insights into individual teams and players, giving users all of the best news about a particular team or player, along with live scores, photos and videos.

SUB: Who do you consider to be FanFeedr’s competition?

Ahmad-Taylor: We are competing against any other service that demands a user’s attention. We are different because we are focusing on all of the news around particular teams and players, as opposed to sports news in general.

SUB: What inspired the idea for FanFeedr? Was there a single “aha” moment, or was the idea a long time in coming?

Ahmad-Taylor: After building www.mtvmusic.com for Viacom, I wanted to move into a different arena, but one that I was passionate about. Working with the great engineering team at FanFeedr, we have evolved the service over the last two years into its current state. The original customer problem is that I am a Bay Area sports fan living in New York, and that there was no one place where I could get all of the relevant news about the Oakland A’s, Golden State Warriors, and San Francisco 49ers.

SUB: What is your overall business model? Where does FanFeedr’s revenue come from?

Ahmad-Taylor: We make money via sponsorships on the site and social channels, and via use of our API.

SUB: How are you marketing/promoting the site?

Ahmad-Taylor: We get the bulk of our traffic via social media, and we also rely on viral content channels to spread the word.

SUB: What are the target demographics you hope to appeal to?

Ahmad-Taylor: Our target demographic is men aged 18-to-34, and we over-index in that group.

SUB: When was the company founded, and what were the first steps you took?

Ahmad-Taylor: The company was founded in December of 2008, and the first steps that I took were to hire a sharp engineering team.

SUB: What has the biggest challenge been so far in establishing FanFeedr and fulfilling your vision for the company?

Ahmad-Taylor: Getting the word out and becoming the “fourth tab” for users. Most internet users have email, a social network, and a news or music tab up in their browser. We want to be the fourth tab for users, but we are also happy if they consume our content directly on Twitter or Facebook.

SUB: Have you raised outside funding to this point? Do you plan to (or raise another round) in the near future?

Ahmad-Taylor: We have raised a seed round of financing from local investors in New York. We do plan to raise more money to grow our business.

SUB: Where do you see FanFeedr in a year from now?

Ahmad-Taylor: In a year, we will deliver more personalized sports information streams than any other company in the world.

SUB: Finally, as an entrepreneur who has successfully navigated the waters of the bad economy, what advice do you have for those just starting a company?

Ahmad-Taylor: Validate your ideas with end users as much as possible, and put your engineers in a position to be successful.

FanFeedr – www.fanfeedr.com