April 5 – Digitally driven sports innovators have another tech fund to tap for development finance. Hype Sports Innovation has unveiled plans for a $75 million capital fund with Uli Becker, ex-president of Reebok and Bernd Wahler, former president of VfB Stuttgart.
The fund will focus on eSports, AI, fan engagement monetization, VR, and performance analytics.
The sports innovation platform says it “will leverage from the already generated proprietary deal flow thanks to their twelve-fold global accelerator network which hosts more than 40,000 members (including major sports brands, clubs, federations, and academia), and over 10,000 sports startups.”
Included in Hype’s accelerator network are UEFA and NFL members, as well as partnerships with Asics, Spalding, Adidas, and Microsoft.
The fund has already signed its first term sheet with once startup. “Once we reach our funding target, we will support the next unicorns of sports innovation, aiming to capitalize on emerging technology,” said Uli Becker, Chairman of HYPE Capital Fund. “We already have vast experience promoting startups in our ecosystem, with forty percent of firms in the London accelerator raising money through our programme.”
The fund’s investment strategy will see it work primarily with startups with a strong track record of success.
Bernd Wahler, Chairman of HYPE Sports Innovation, said: “To reduce the risk for investors we only work with elite startups, whom we know personally and are part of our deal flow. Once we get them onboard, we connect them to corporations in our accelerator program, giving them an outstanding global platform.”
Speaking about the sports industry’s response to technology, Amir Raveh, President and Founder at HYPE Sports Innovation, said, “I believe sports will continue to embrace technological change in the 2020s, and with HYPE’s capital fund we believe we can create an unparalleled return on investment. I am confident that HYPE’s vision – to impact people’s lives with the power of sports innovation – will become a reality.”
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