10 European startups with the potential to disrupt the sports industry

The sports-tech industry in Europe is experiencing quite exciting times! All kinds of organisations are embracing technology for higher community engagement, innovative events, and experiences, and even improved players’ performance, to name a few of the potential use cases of tech in the sports industry.

With digitization accelerating at a fast pace, trends such as high demand for video and content, a deepening connection, and the next generation of devices are starting to take over the sector. Artificial Intelligence, data, augmented and virtual reality, monitoring devices, blockchain, and tokenization are gaining popularity among technologies applied by sports-related companies. 

To discover more about the sports-tech world, we’ve did some scouting this week and we’re herewith introducing you to 10 European startups disrupting the sports industry:

Founded in 2018, Paris-based Sorare aims to transform online football fandom through a global fantasy football game, where any football fan can become a manager. Through blockchain digital collectibles and its global fantasy football, the team is on a mission to create a new way to connect to the clubs and players that fans love. Created by football fans for football fans, Sorare has raised more than €500 million from investors including Benchmark, Accel Partners, and footballers Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, and Rio Ferdinand.

Founded in 2017, PlayerData is on a mission to transform the way athletes train, giving everyone from amateur to professional access to the latest wearable technology.  The Edinburgh-based startup has raised nearly €4 million to provide accessible GPS to teams at all levels and stages of their game. Football, rugby, and hockey teams use PlayerData’s GPS trackers and data performance app to have access to their performance data. The compact EDGE GPS unit slots comfortably into a sports vest, and is used to track player’s speed zones, distances covered, and positioning on the pitch.

Born in 2020, Quell develops a virtual fitness world that offers an intense workout experience while gaming to achieve fitness goals. Based in London, the Quell team has raised around €2.6 million and uses resistance bands to help players get fit while fighting their way through a virtual fitness world. They define themselves as a “Peloton meets gaming” based on a monthly subscription. Quell is designed to burn more calories than a spin class with real resistance and immersive, full-body workouts tailored to each player, giving them access to real-time technique analysis.

Lisbon-based MyLADS develops engaging Augmented Reality content that fans can access through its collectible items, the LADS. The LADS are high-quality replicas of football equipment allowing fans to experience AR content like photos and videos with players, 360º stadium tours, and infographics about players’ performances. Since its founding in 2020, the startup has raised over €7.6 million to empower sports teams and fans to engage in a different, innovative way. On the other hand, sports teams are gathering important insights about their fans, allowing them to better engage with them.

Swiss startup Horizm is a new, real-time solution to digital inventory management, leveraging artificial intelligence to help sports and entertainment better track, value, and monetize their digital media. Founded in 2019, the platform enables rights holders, agencies, and talent to drive more value for their partners and create new revenue streams for the sports industry – from existing inventory. Horizm also enables brands to identify high-performing assets that reach their target audience and ensure a greater return on their partnership/sponsorship investment.

Founded in 2019, ReSpo.Vision uses computer vision to capture detailed 3D tracking data from sporting events and turn them into practical insights. The Warsaw-based startup has raised about €1 million to develop and improve its system to screen any TV broadcast and capture a continuous stream of 3D coordinates of 20 body sections of each player and the ball. The solution is already catching the attention of the largest football clubs in Europe. The technology has been tested, among others, by Champions League clubs, which plan to use it more widely in training and selection processes.

London-based Playermaker utilizes advanced technology to accurately measure foot to ball interaction performance. The smart sensor is built with a gyroscope and accelerometer that samples movement events at 1000 times/sec which allows the measurement of every micro-movement, including impact with the ground, with the ball and the rotation of each foot. Born in 2016, the team has raised over €8 million to develop their on-footwear sensors and plug-and-play solutions that provide coaches with immediate and powerful insights into player performance.

PandaScore provides statistics and odds for the top esports competitions globally. By combining AI and esports expertise, the Paris-based startup is building a data infrastructure for top teams, bookmakers, fantasy apps, and media companies to get the best esports data. Founded in 2015, PandaScore has raised more than €7.5 million to accelerate its growth but also the growth of esports in general – with the most reliable and accurate data and AI. The ambition of the PandaScore founders is to revolutionise both esports and traditional sports.

French startup Immersiv.io is reinventing the sports fan experience with Augmented Reality. They design and develop immersive solutions to give fans full control over their live experience and enjoy the games in brand new ways. Leveraging the latest augmented reality frameworks, machine learning, and computer vision, the team creates interactive experiences, including eSports, on both mobile and smart glasses. Founded in 2016, Immersiv.io aims to provide teams and leagues with new ways to engage with their audience.

ScorePlay is an AI-powered media asset management platform built for football clubs. Founded in 2020 and based in Lisbon, the startup uses computer vision to automatically review and tag raw content. Their AI-based platform automatically tags players and sponsors so any user can find what they need in seconds. Both photo and video assets are stored in a central hub on the cloud for users to locate them easily through a search engine. Clubs can also give elected stakeholders like players, sponsors, media, and fans secured access to a dedicated library of curated content.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!