By Riley Kaminer
Daniel Benchimol moved around a lot as a kid – bouncing around Argentina and Colombia in his youth before attending high school in Miami and college in New York. But no matter where Benchimol landed, he knew that he could lean on his love of sports to build a life for himself there.
“Sports connected me to people,” he told Refresh Miami. “Moving was hard, but soccer helped make my life very happy.” Benchimol received a scholarship to play soccer in college, giving him a flavor of what the sports industry was like.
Upon graduation, Benchimol worked at a VC – but eventually the lure of athletics brought him to work at sports platforms fuboTV and Fanatiz. Benchimol and his family swapped New York for Miami amid the pandemic and haven’t looked back.
While in Miami and alongside Humberto Ciffoni, Benchimol also co-founded The Highlights App, a mobile platform enabling users to watch the latest sport highlights. Instead of having to sit through hours of content, The Highlights App distills games into the most exciting moments. The Highlights App’s partners share five-minute long videos, which The Highlights App team further slims down into a minute or two of content.
“People typically watch around 30 seconds,” said Benchimol. “People prefer watching highlights to live games. That way, they can watch five or six games in five to 10 minutes.” In the long-term, Benchimol hopes that his editing team – leveraging the power of AI – will be able to edit 500 games in an hour.
Currently, The Highlights App supports a handful of sports including soccer, tennis, golf, basketball, and watersports. At the moment, it is only available in South America – but the company has plans to lunch in the US by the first quarter of next year. “Everything is personalized,” Benchimol said, noting that the app feeds the user better content the more that they consume on the platform.
While Benchimol did not share The Highlights App’s number of users, he underscored that the app has seen great engagement. “Our users are watching 10 games a week each on average,” he said, noting that the company’s growth up to now has been organic.
Since launching in 2022, The Highlights App has raised a pre-seed of $700,000. Two of its ten employees are based in Miami, with the rest of the team spread across Latin America.
The Highlights app recently joined the Techstars Sports Accelerator. Benchimol was one of 13 founders chosen for the 13-week mentor-driven program. “We applied to Techstars before and didn’t get in,” Benchimol shared. “But we applied again a year later and were very pleased to be accepted. It has been an incredible experience: a lot of work, but I really feel the company is accelerating.”
Benchimol hopes to raise another round by the end of the third quarter of this year. But in the more immediate future, he is excited about building a product that fits his personal needs – and the needs of millions of other sports fans.
“We want to be the place where people come to consume highlights.”
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