With massive sporting events such as the upcoming World Cup 2022 in Qatar being in the spotlight during this year, The Recursive takes a look at which sports tech startups in SEE region are worth the watch during 2022 for sports professionals, clubs, enthusiasts, and fans alike.
Sportifico is a Serbia-based sports startup that aims to create an online community for those that are building their sporting careers. The startup describes itself as a social network for aspiring football players, coaches and athletes, where they can discuss potential opportunities in the world of sports. The users of the networks can also share their past experiences, as well as to present their abilities and post stats from their performance when searching for trials of playing opportunities for clubs and teams. Since 2017, the network has more than 13 thousand registered users throughout the SEE region.
Sportening is a Croatia-based advanced messaging app with AI-driven content for sports fans, providing content through chatbots backed by “super fans” from various teams. According to the company’s founder Ivan Klaric, the total funding that the company has received so far for working on their products is almost 4 million euros, and is also opening offices in the US and the Netherlands.
Rolla, a Bosnia and Herzegovina based startup, creates apps which help users track, compete, and have fun while working out, both outdoors and indoors. The company monitors and tracks their users’ physical activities and health segments, enabling them to bring their activities to the virtual world and gain motivation to live healthier lives by participating and creating various challenges. The main goal of this startup is for students from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina to regularly jog or run indoors, and not only in the gym, but in their houses or apartments too.
Second Coach is a gamification-based application made in Slovenia, for motivating children for sports training. The app allows its users to conduct training faster and more efficiently, motivates children to achieve better scores and are more engaged as training becomes a game, and makes training an experience through which the children are less likely to quit the sport. Both coach and parents can track their child’s progress and development on training and can compare their stats with their competitors. Founded in late 2016, the company has been backed by an angel investor.
Ubitrack is a football performance data company, based in Bulgaria, that extracts raw tracking and events data using a proprietary optical tracking system and AI. The data is used by football clubs to feed the analytics tools they use. In the case of clubs which have not used such tools before, also agents, broadcasters and fan-engagement services, Ubitrack also provides statistical reports. As The Recursive reported earlier, the startup hopes that the use of technology will help football clubs from the Balkans to make smarter investments. Ubitrack has a pre-seed investment from angel fund Overkill Ventures.
Ensk.ai is a sports analytics company based in Bulgaria, which focuses on reducing the bias in football transfers worldwide, by using advanced statistical models and artiﬁcial intelligence. Combined with a deep understanding of the football club’s individual needs, philosophies, and team dynamics, the startup aims to reduce transfer waste and identify the right talent through objective and data-driven methods. The company recently got an undisclosed investment from Bulgarian venture capital fund Morningside Hill, which invested over €3M in four Bulgarian startups.
Sponsor.Online is a data-driven digital marketplace for sports sponsorship, providing professional football clubs, rightsholders, global brands a unique platform to connect and create sponsorship and advertising deals directly without traditional agencies or intermediaries involved in the process. Founded in 2017 and based in the UK, Sponsor.Online offers an advanced, user-friendly, digitalized platform for the sports sponsorship market for football clubs and brands with access to a broad range of comparable sponsorship assets and insights.
Sponsor.Online already works with plenty of football clubs from the Balkans, such as Pirin FC, Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Botev Plovdiv from Bulgaria, NK Celje and NS Mura from Slovenia, Hajduk Split, HNK Sibenik, Osijek, and Lokomotiv Zagreb from Croatia, and Radnicki Nis and Red Star Belgrade from Serbia.