Touchdown! StatusPRO wins $20M Series A for VR simulation gaming platform

The round, led by Google Ventures, attracts celebrity investors in sports world and beyond

By Riley Kaminer

Last week’s Apple Vision Pro launch may still be clogging up your X feed today. But in South Florida, there’s even bigger news coming out of the virtual reality corners of our tech ecosystem.

Miami startup StatusPRO today announced their $20 million Series A fundraise led by Google Ventures. Additional participants included Dream Sports, Minnesota Vikings Owners Mark & Zygi Wilf’s Wise Ventures, JDS Sports, and Alumni Ventures, and existing investors including LeBron James, Drake, Maverick Carter, Main Street Advisors, Haslam Sports Group and more. 

Their list of individual investors reads like a veritable NFL draft lineup, including the Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Browns’ Myles Garrett, and the Saints’ Cameron Jordan – among many others. Miami restaurateur David Grutman of LIV and Komodo fame also counts himself among the ranks of StatusPRO founders. StatusPRO previously raised a $5.2 million seed round in 2021.

Founded by former football players Troy Jones and Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins, the idea behind StatusPRO is to bring a high-quality VR simulation to the sports space. Through StatusPRO’s first-person simulations, fans can cosplay as their favorite pros while interacting and competing with each other in the virtual world. 

Through a 2022 licensing deal with the NFL, StatusPRO launched a VR simulation gaming franchise, NFL PRO ERA. Since then, the company has on boarded over a million users, making it one of the fastest selling sports titles in VR history – as well as a top title on Meta Quest.

“No matter if it’s virtual reality or spatial computing, our vision at StatusPRO is to define first-person sports and deliver experiences that truly embody the emotion, competition and sense of community that comes with being a professional athlete,” CEO Jones said in a statement.

“The investment from GV, Dream, and all other syndicates in the round, further validates the opportunity to leverage emerging technology to innovate the way fans interact with their favorite sports and define a new form of engagement that brings current and future fans closer to the game,” he continued.

One road to success for StatusPRO will be to simply ride the wave of growth expected for the VR gaming industry: a CAGR of 31.4%, growing from around $8 billion in 2021 to $53 billion in 2028.

“We believe that VR is the innovative answer to help allow fans globally to see and experience what it’s like to be a Pro,” added Hawkins, the company’s president. “This is just the beginning for StatusPRO and paves the way for us to enter additional sectors of sports VR, opening doors for us to explore other professional sports avenues and teams.”

These funds will enable StatusPRO to develop new sports titles while continuing to improve its technology. In the long-term, the company signaled that it plans to expand into the sports VR market with a specific focus on future sports IP. M.G. Siegler, Venture Partner at GV, underscored the idea that StatusPRO will not simply thrive within the context of a world with more sports VR – but rather shape the industry itself..

“StatusPRO is building the next generation of sports and gaming entertainment through cutting-edge virtual reality. The company’s unique technology-driven approach and meaningful partnerships have resulted in strong early growth and product traction,” Siegler commented.

He continued: “Troy Jones and Andrew Hawkins have built an impressive team and track record of execution in a short time, and we’re thrilled to support StatusPRO as they move the VR gaming industry forward.”


Riley Kaminer