NWHL Announces Funding Round Led by Insurance and Tech Entrepreneur Andy Scurto
The National Women’s Hockey League announced today that it has closed a new round of equity funding that ensures viability and continued growth for the league for many years to come.
The financing, which came as a result of substantial progress for the NWHL and a strong start to the league’s fifth season, was led by insurance and IT entrepreneur Andy Scurto, the founder and former President of San Jose-based insurance software firm ISCS. Scurto, who sold ISCS in 2017, now joins a group of more than 20 NWHL investors. They include Neil Leibman, a co-owner of MLB’s Texas Rangers; Joel Leonoff, the Vice Chairman of the PaySafe Group; Michael Gilfillan, the former co-owner of the New Jersey Devils; Lee Heffernan, the former CEO of IMG Live and current Founding Partner of the W Agency in Atlanta; and Matthew Arpano, Managing Director at Silvercrest Asset Management Group in New York.
"It’s a privilege for me to participate in the NWHL and to join my partners in the league in driving growth for the future,” said Scurto, who has formed NL Sports. “The NWHL is a strong league that has implemented a great model for supporting the athletes. Having been very involved with youth hockey as my daughter has played for many years, I see the value sports has to offer and I’m especially passionate about building women’s professional ice hockey for the current and future generations of players. The NWHL and the players have advanced the sport and the league beyond its startup phase, and there is more to come in the years ahead.”
The capital from the growth round will be utilized to increase infrastructure and enhance player development, among other initiatives. The closing comes two months after the Boston Pride were acquired by a team of investors led by Cannon Capital managing partner Miles Arnone. In 2019, the NWHL had its most successful offseason, completing its first paid media rights deal (an innovative partnership with Twitch), and generating the most corporate partnerships in its young history. The NWHL and players have a 50-50 split of revenue from all league sponsorships and media rights deals, and partners have responded enthusiastically, knowing the league’s athletes benefit directly.
“This infusion of capital from Andy Scurto and our partners who believe in the power and value of professional women’s hockey is another important milestone for the NWHL, our players, supporters and fans,” said Commissioner Dani Rylan. “Thanks to our investors, the difficult, demanding, but rewarding work of building a women’s sports league and proving its value by demonstrating growth and viability continues.”