Croatia-based sports social network Sportening announced that it raised an investment of €6M, with a significant part of it coming from Real Madrid football player and superstar Luka Modric. Other investors in the project include Sacha Dragic, founder and executive chairman of Romanian gaming company Superbet, and the COO of Peter Thiel’s investment fund Clarium Capital Ralph Ho.
Sportening was founded in 2020 by Croatian entrepreneur Ivan Klaric as an advanced messaging app with AI-driven content for sports fans.
According to Klaric, Sportening is now on a mission to become the number one social media app for sports fans globally. The app will feature channels where there will be fan player ratings, lineup predictors, videos, polls, and much more.
“We built Sportening to connect fans and offer them a unique, tailored social media experience, away from all the noise of the mainstream platforms. We also wanted to put the power back in the hands of supporters. Building a network where fans own the fandom is key for the future of sports,” Klaric, who has been present on the Croatian startup scene for more than 10 years, said in a statement.
For Luka Modric, captain of the Croatian national football team and 2018 winner of the most prestigious football award Ballon D’or, Sportening is his first startup investment. With it he looks to help the app build “the ultimate fan community”.
“When I saw just how passionate the Sportening team is about building something unique for fans, I immediately wanted to support them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without fans and their recent absence from stadiums emphasized just how important they are to the game. I now want to give something back, by helping Sportening build the biggest and best online fan community,” Luca Modric emphasized.
According to the startup, more than 2,000 new fans are joining the social network every day, with a total of 250 thousands fans already using its platform. The Croatian startup expects to reach over 6 million users in the next year and a half.
Last year, The Recursive listed Sportening in its top SEE sports tech startups to watch for in 2021. The social media network currently has a team of more than 50 people, with offices in Zagreb and San Francisco.