Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Launches TraceMe, A Content-Driven Social Platform for All Superfans

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$9MM Series A Funding Backed by Madrona Venture Group, Bezos Expeditions, and Prominent Media & Technology Angel Investors

Russell Wilson - Behind the Scenes

TraceMe, a new mobile-first platform that gives superfans exclusive access to the worlds of their favorite elite athletes, artists, and celebrities, today announced its public beta iPhone app.

Russell Wilson, Super Bowl champion and the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, founded the company and will lead the charge as the first featured celebrity on the platform, with more celebrity worlds to be added in the coming months. To participate in the beta, Russell’s superfans can download the TraceMe iPhone app from the App Store. It allows fans to immerse themselves in a world of exclusive, up close, and original daily content, letting them take a front-row seat and interact with the celebrities they love.

“I’ve dreamed about launching TraceMe for a long time and I am excited to finally see it come to fruition,” said Wilson, TraceMe’s Founder and Executive Chairman. “I have worked super hard with the world class team at TraceMe to make this become a reality for our fans.”

“Now that it’s football season, my number one priority is leading the Seahawks to another Super Bowl victory,” he added. “TraceMe is going to help me on that journey by providing me with a direct line to my most passionate supporters who drive my motivation throughout this amazing season.”

TraceMe leverages a range of mobile-first storytelling techniques. It marries these with a daily dose of original content, including broadcast-quality interviews, training programs, and exclusive behind the scenes footage.

“We think there’s a gap for the most passionate fans out there,” said TraceMe CEO Jason LeeKeenan, a media and technology executive formerly of Hulu and Zulily. “Our vision for TraceMe is to define a new category for superfan engagement. When the floodlights are shut off at a big game or a sell-out show, the smartphone offers the best place for a superfan to immerse themselves in the worlds of their favorite artists, athletes, and entertainers. We want to give them the VIP experience they’ve always dreamed of.”

LeeKeenan believes there is incredible potential at the intersection of exclusive content, world-class technology, and two-way interaction. “In many ways, our vision is to reinvent the fan club for the mobile-first era,” he said. “To create a set of always-on, exclusive, and engaging worlds for each of the icons that we partner with. We will lead the way with Russell, but this goes much further than his superfans. TraceMe is for all superfans of entertainers, celebrities, athletes, and more.”

Prominent Investors Back the TraceMe Opportunity

TraceMe announced a $9MM Series A funding round today, led by Madrona Venture Group, along with a number of prominent angel investors including Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos), Chad Hurley (co-founder of YouTube), Joe Tsai (co-founder of Alibaba), Mike Mahan (President of Dick Clark Productions), and Kenny Dichter (founder of Wheels Up).

“At the core of every great team there are passionate leaders like Jason and Russell and a commitment to continuous improvement,” said Matt McIlwain, a Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group and board member of TraceMe. “TraceMe is focused on improving and personalizing the ways talented stars share content and interact with their biggest fans. The entire Madrona team is excited to help TraceMe realize its full potential.”

TraceMe is the sixth company to be venture-funded out of Pioneer Square Labs, a leading startup studio led in part by longtime Seattle venture capitalist and entrepreneur Greg Gottesman, who also serves on the board. “One of the fun things about this project was seeing Russell as an entrepreneur,” Gottesman said. “He obviously is one of the best quarterbacks on the planet. I think he might end up being just as good as an entrepreneur.”

Examples of the exclusive content Wilson’s fans will be treated to as part of the public beta app include:

●    DangerTalk – Wilson’s unique weekly podcast with his take on the game plus personal views on family, faith, and relationships.
●    Legends – Wilson sits down to talk with legendary superstars such as Jim Brown, Chris Berman, Laila Ali, Bill Russell and Steve Kerr to reveal their stories and motivations, as well as to talk sports, entertainment, and world news.
●    Training with Decker Davis – Learn how to train on and off the field like a Super Bowl champion with Wilson’s personal trainer Decker Davis.
●    DangeRuss Minds – Train alongside Wilson as his mental coach Trevor Moawad teaches you how to have a DangeRuss Mind.
●    Cooking with Chef Andrea – Journey to healthy eating with Wilson’s personal chef, changing the health of the world one dinner plate at a time.
●    RWQB – Learn to be a great leader both on and off the field in RWQB, an elite training program for young quarterbacks all over the world, taught by Wilson and Coach Jake Heaps.

The TraceMe beta is available for iPhone on the App Store globally. To find out more or download it, visit http://www.TraceMe.com.

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Media Contact:
Lindsey Henn
press(at)traceme(dot)com
+1 (626) 893-4228

Press Assets:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zidimsl7zn8txm5/AAAmkGset7HOMY-hfX3pE9IJa?dl=0

TraceMe Trailer Video:
https://youtu.be/6VfjkdNGTEw (long - 1.37m)
https://youtu.be/npfs8H8ZZAY (short - 48s)

About TraceMe Inc.
TraceMe Inc. (http://www.traceme.com) is building the world’s first superfan platform, giving fans exclusive access to elite athletes, artists, and celebrities. The platform takes fan engagement further, with an always-on feed of original content, daily personal updates, and unique channels to ask questions and engage. TraceMe was founded by Super Bowl champion, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who was the platform’s first featured athlete. Wilson serves as Executive Chairman alongside an experienced team of executives including CEO Jason LeeKeenan, a former Hulu and Zulily executive. TraceMe Inc. was born at Pioneer Square Labs, a startup studio in Seattle, WA. The company closed a $9MM Series A led by Madrona Venture Group prior to public launch, and counts Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos) and Alibaba’s Joe Tsai among its early investors. The app, which debuted for iPhone, is available for download on the App Store. To find out more or download the public beta, visit TraceMe.com.

About Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson (http://www.russellwilson3.com) enters his sixth season with the Seahawks in 2017. Wilson was selected as the 12th pick in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. In 2012, he tied Peyton Manning’s record for most passing touchdowns by a rookie (26) and was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. In 2013, he led the Seahawks to their first ever Super Bowl victory, and in 2014, led them to a second straight Super Bowl berth. Wilson has won more games (46) than any other NFL quarterback in his first five seasons, and is currently the second highest rated NFL passer of all time behind Aaron Rodgers.

Russell’s accomplishments don’t stop on the field. He is the Founder and Executive Chairman of TraceMe Inc., the world’s first superfan platform. He is the Founder and CEO of West2East Inc., a brand development and talent management company. The Why Not You Foundation, which he launched in 2014, is dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world by motivating, empowering, and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders. In addition to financially supporting organizations aligned with the foundation’s mission, Russell works to extend the foundation’s impact by making visits to Seattle Children’s, advocating for pediatric cancer through Strong against Cancer, working with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to Pass the Peace, as well as many other efforts.

About Pioneer Square Labs
Pioneer Square Labs (http://www.pioneersquarelabs.com) is a Seattle-based studio that creates and launches technology startups. The studio has spun out six venture-backed startups in the last 18 months: LumaTax, Ad Lightning, JetClosing, Boundless, Taunt, and TraceMe.

About Madrona Venture Group
Madrona (http://www.madrona.com) has been investing in early-stage technology companies in the Pacific Northwest since 1995 and has been privileged to play a role in some of the region's most successful technology ventures. The firm invests predominantly in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum, including consumer Internet, commercial software and services, digital media and advertising, networking and cloud computing, and mobile. Madrona manages approximately $1.3B and was an early investor in companies such as Amazon.com, Apptio, Rover.com, and Redfin.

iPhone and the App Store are trademarks of Apple Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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