April 3, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 3 comments
Ultimate Central, the league and event organizing platform exclusively built for ultimate, announced today the acquisition of FFindr, a similar service provider popular in Europe.
Jeremy Kauffman, the owner of Ultimate Central, which is a highly successful offshoot of TopScore used by major federations like Ultimate Canada and Ultimate Australia, told Ultiworld that the site seeks to become a major player resource.
“We view ourselves as facilitators,” he said. “We want to make everything about ultimate easier: organizing, playing. We don’t have strong opinions about how ultimate should be played. We’re just trying to bring ultimate together.”
The acquisition adds 20,000 Ffindr users to the growing Ultimate Central user base, which is over 100,000. Christian Jennewein, the owner and founder of Ffindr, will take an equity stake in Ultimate Central and become its eighth employee.
“I’ve always dreamt of making FFindr a global resource connecting each and every Frisbee player with all possible information, but I have been unable to invest the necessary time to gain traction in North America, the epicentre of Ultimate Frisbee,” Jennewein wrote on his blog. “Under the terms of the merger, I will be joining the Ultimate Central team and working to replicate FFindr’s features on the Ultimate Central platform.”
The move solidifies Ultimate Central’s growth and gives them immediate access to Europe, the one part of the world, Kauffman said, it didn’t have significant traction. The websites and services will continue to work apart for the near future.
“For now, they’re both going to operate separately until both sides feel that we’ve reached parity and there’s nothing missing,” said Kauffman.
Ultimate Central has proven profitable and Kauffman called it “the biggest ultimate company nobody knows about.” All of its features — including website hosting, tournament scheduling, and event management — are free. If leagues or tournaments want to take payments, Ultimate Central charges a 2.5% fee per transaction.
The company is experimenting now with expanding their commerce options and becoming a one-stop shop for payment processing (currently, organizers use PayPal or other third party payment options). Ultimate Central wants to manage the entire organizing process. They will use their own payment processing at Sandblast this year.
“All you need is a checking account and we’ll do everything and pay you,” said Kauffman.
As for Ffindr, the website will continue to operate for now, but will eventually move to the Ultimate Central backend and be rebranded.
“What happens to ffindr.com in the future? We’re not sure,” said Kauffman.
Ultimate Central/TopScore looks to continue their impressive growth (200%+ per year since its inception three years ago) in 2014. With perhaps their biggest competitor — one that was looking to make inroads into the US market this year — now under their umbrella, they look to be well on their way.