An Interview with Matias Rivera, Founder of Fanatiz
Matias Rivera is the founder of Fanatiz, a sports-focused OTT that specializes in bringing fans the best of soccer in the world’s top leagues. Serving fans in more than 80 countries and providing exclusive access to games across Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the platform is run by Nunchee.
Matias is an experienced entrepreneur who founded diverse ventures which include Start-Up Chile, Reforestemos Foundation, Jump Chile and Healyx Labs. He earned an Industrial & Computer Science Engineering degree from Chile’s Catholic University, holds an MBA from Stanford University. His research on philanthropy in Latin America is widely cited. And yes, he is a big fan of soccer.
We’re proud to present you our interview with Matias, where he shares his experience building Fanatiz, as well as his advice for anybody who wants to build a successful video business of their own.
What made you want to start Fanatiz?
While I was pursuing my MBA at Stanford University a few years ago, I saw over and over again how many friends struggled to watch the sports content they loved, in particular international soccer. Desperate, they were often forced to resort to illegal pirate services, with a terrible user experience, as the content was simply not legally available anywhere. This didn’t make sense to me and I thought there must be a better way. In Silicon Valley mindset, where there’s a problem there’s an opportunity. That was the insight that led to the creation of Fanatiz back in 2017.
What was it like to build the OTT?
Building Fanatiz, as with any startup, was very challenging – I often felt like a juggler, nervous I wouldn’t drop one of the many balls in the air that had to simultaneously be balanced: fundraising, team building, securing the rights to broadcast the leagues we wanted, developing the product and figuring out the tech operations, working on the brand and marketing, like a multi-dimensional chicken and egg problem! 😅
Why did you choose to build your business with Nunchee?
While I was researching the different OTT technology providers in the market, several industry contacts recommended Nunchee as a great up-and-coming company in the space. I contacted them and was very impressed by their product, team and quality of service – it was an immediate match. Plus, they were very competitive in value and, unlike most others, had a strong sports orientation, so it was a perfect fit and no brainer to work with them. I’m grateful for the decision and it’s been an excellent 3+ years since we first started working together.
How has Fanatiz adapted its business as a result of COVID-19?
At Fanatiz one of our core offerings is live sports, and given the suspension of many sports leagues due to Covid-19, we were forced to develop alternative value propositions. We always put our clients first, and as such spent a lot of time thinking about how we could best serve them during a period with no live sports. We licensed sports movies and series, as well as placed greater emphasis on sports commentary shows and historic content, allowing our sports fan clients to scratch their itch even without live events. We also offered an option to pause subscriptions for those clients who simply wanted to wait it out.
What is a business that you really admire, and have you taken any lessons from that business as you've built Fanatiz?
I’m a big fan of Apple and their obsession with creating amazing products and experiences for their clients. I admire their attention to detail and how they go above and beyond in creating a truly unique and high-quality experience in all the touch points they have with ther clients. At Fanatiz we’re inspired by this and strive to pursue the same level of excellence at everything we do.
What is your favorite video on Fanatiz?
I think the 2018 final of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s Champions Cup, has been perhaps the most exciting content I’ve watched on Fanatiz. River Plate and Boca Juniors faced up in the final, and their rivalry is one of the greatest and most passionate in all of global soccer. The quarter and semi-finals, with the tantalizing possibility that these two giants of global soccer could face each other in a history-making final, was truly exciting and memorable, as well of course as the epic of the final itself!
What's your advice to content creators who are launching their video businesses?
Focus on your client. Understand their pain points and ensure your service delivers exactly what they seek. I believe knowing your client and delivering a top-notch value proposition to them is the key to success.