After plowing through 1,009 kilometers of the deserts, mountains and forests that highlight the Israel Trail, English- Australian ultra-marathoner Richard Bowles only wished that his journey could have been a little longer.
“I feel great actually,” Bowles told The Jerusalem Post over the phone on Thursday afternoon from Kibbutz Dan, just after he completed his run. “It’s nice to be here. I’m almost a little bit disappointed that it’s come to an end.”
Starting at the Eilat Field School on April 17, Bowles had planned to complete the entire trail in 12 days. Along the way, however, his body had other plans for him, when a foot infection began to pain him on April 25 – day nine of his expedition. After continuing about 60 kilometers the next day despite the infection, Bowles consulted with physicians and realized he would need to take a week off from running to allow the infection to heal.
A case in point: FTBpro, a large fan-generated content platform has now secured $5.8 million from Battery Ventures and Gemini Israel Ventures to fund global expansion. The site currently has 20 million monthly page views, over 1,000 contributing fan writers, covering all major leagues worldwide and publishes content and tools in a variety of languages. And they are not the only one. The move comes just after ‘The Football App‘ raised its first institutional funding with a €10m Series A from a syndicate led by Earlybird Venture Capital in Berlin. The Football App has become a pretty dominant mobile football app amongst European fans.
On FTBpro, fans can publish and interact with each other and FTBpro’s editors. The site features match predictions, videos, imagery slideshows, team line-ups and player rankings amongst others.
Based out of London with R&D is in Tel Aviv, FTBpro’s business model is advertising and brand sponsorships. It works on Android or iOS and the competition includes sports UGC players Bleacher Report (US), which was acquired by Time Warner Sports.
For its part, The Football App has 3.5m monthly and up to 1.5m daily active users, says it is putting on a 100,000 users a day across 155 markets and with high retention rates. They will use the funds to grow internationally.
More to come in this space I dares say as ‘second screen’ app take off.
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Finland’s Tuuli Petaja-Siran came in second, followed by Blanca Manchon Dominguez of Spain