Cologne-based Prematch has just scored a funding round of €2.4 million. The startup’s soccer platform aims to democratise the sport, bringing football back to the people and giving amateurs the same digital tools as the pros.
Football is the world’s most popular sport. It’s a sport that kids around the world grow up enjoying and take inspiration from. It unites people and watching a game, or kicking a football around, is an experience universally shared. Over the years, it’s become not only a beloved sport, but a massive market, and now, it’s increasingly tech-driven and enabled.
Whilst professional players and soccer teams around the world continue to inspire generations, in recent years, corruption scandals, relentless commercialisation and politics have all tainted the sport, disassociating professional football from the people -. Amateur football has maintained its roots and continued to grow as a sport that is community-based and played with passion.
Prematch, a Cologne-based startup, has just secured €2.4 million for its platform dedicated to amateur players. The round was led by Schadeberg Family Office with additional participation from an Angel Fund around ESL founder Ralf Reichert. Verena Pausder (entrepreneur, author & co-founder of FC Viktoria Berlin), Patric Fassbender and Marcus Stahl contributed to the pool.
“A new generation of soccer players and fans is currently growing up. The commercialization of professional soccer is having an impact. We see that ‘real soccer’ will rapidly gain in importance due to this trend and advancing digitization.”
The startup combines components from social networks and soccer platforms from the professional sector. It essentially allows every active soccer player to follow themself and their friends/teammates – just like they follow Ronaldo and Messi.
Verena Pausder: “Prematch is disrupting amateur soccer. Young people love it. It’s about their games, their friends and their local communities.”
On the platform, each player is given their own profile with personal performance data and statistics. In addition, the user can add favourites (players, teams, leagues) to receive personalized news and results around up to 80,000 matches which are played per weekend (currently in Germany).
The startup, which launched in Germany in August last year (after a €1.7 million raise), already counts players from 94% of all German football teams on the platform. It’s also entered into a partnership with Delay Sports Berlin and different creators to help target GenZ engagement.
With this new funding, the Cologne-based team plan to further develop the platform and expand towards new target groups and markets.