The Daily Startup: Sportradar Attracts Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Sportradar AG, a sports data company, didn’t need money but the connections that came with it made it too good to turn down. That’s why the St. Gallen, Switzerland-based company took a round of capital led by Revolution Growth that included other known sports investors. Revolution is co-founded by the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Wizards and WNBA’s Mystics owner Ted Leonsis. Participants included   Michael Jordan, the owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, and Dallas Mavericks owner and investor Mark Cuban.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

SourceClear Inc has raised $10 million in funding from Index Ventures and Storm Ventures to help developers create secure software to meets deployment deadlines, which often run up against the need to ship code at steady clip to blast out new features.

Fieldwire Inc., a startup that wants to help the construction industry eliminate unnecessary delays in completing big developments, has $5.5 million in Series A funding. The infusion comes from lead investor Formation 8 and was joined by the company’s earlier backers Bloomberg Beta and AngelPad.

Zebit Inc. said it has raised $10 million in Series A venture funding to give zero-interest credit to shoppers who work but don’t yet have access to traditional credit cards. Crosslink Capital led the round joined by Correlation, Leapfrog Venturesand Wildcat Venture Partners.

DirectScale Inc., developer of a cloud-based software platform to serve the social-sales industry, has launched a new business platform with a $4 million Series A round. Provo, Utah-based DirectScale said the funding was provided by Kickstart Seed Fund and NetSuite Inc.

(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit http://on.wsj.com/DJPEVCNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WEB:

If venture capitalists were as imaginative about what could go wrong in their industry as they are about what could go right, maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims. “A lot of VCs might think about this privately, but they don’t talk about it publicly, because you’re sort of shooting yourself in the foot if you do,” says Rui Ma, an investor at 500 Startups, a global early-stage investment fund. “This” is the state of the mega-startups, the privately held tech “unicorns” worth more than a billion dollars, and the terms under which they are financed. From the outside, everything looks great—at least 124 unicorns are, according to their backers, glowing with health, growing their revenue aggressively, if not their profits. But with ever greater frequency and urgency, a chorus of the very same venture capitalists who are investing in these companies are sounding the alarm, declaring that many of them aren’t only worth less than their paper valuations, but some may cease to exist altogether.

Square Inc. on Monday disclosed that quarterly losses at the payments company are mounting and sales growth is slowing, a troubling sign as it approaches an initial public offering, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Bensinger.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is getting in on the drone game, report The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Nassauer and Jack Nicas. The world’s largest retailer by revenue asked the Federal Aviation Administration in a letter for permission to use outdoor unmanned aircraft to test everything from package delivery to inventory management. To date, drone tests “have been strictly limited to indoor tests,” the retailer said in the letter, which was submitted Monday.

Write to Scott Martin at scott.martin@wsj.com. Follow him on Twitter at @scottysmartin