Noida based startup SportsApp raised $140K in seed round led by noted names like Shubhrendu Khoche, Anirban Basu, Sanjay Ahuja, Ram Ganesan and Kuldeep Puri, among others.
This unique startup which primarily addresses the aspiring sportspersons of India uses a proprietary tech platform to solve the asymmetric access to “Community, Sponsorships, and Career."
In a statement, SportsApp shared it will be utilizing the funds to further enhance its go-to-market, technology and marketing capabilities. This round of funding should further catalyze the fast growth this startup has witnessed in key KPIs since its launch. Launched in Mar’18, SportsApp has seen growth of 20X in downloads, 56X in MAUs and 80X in DAUs. Interestingly, the startup clocked an impressive 4X scale up in revenues during the pandemic year of 2020-21 FY.
"Lack of access to the essential resources such as information, sponsorships and professional support for budding athletes early on in their careers is costing India immensely in world sporting events. For an emerging world power like India, we indeed need to become a force to reckon with at the Olympics and other world events. Towards this mission, we need to start with equipping our young sportspersons with better access to resources”, said Shashank Mishra (founder- SportApp), who himself was once a budding cricketer but had to give up on his sporting dreams due to lack of resources. Today he is committed to removing the same barriers for young sportspersons and creating a much-needed disruption in the sports industry.
SportsApp is an aggregator platform combining Community, Content and Commerce together for India's budding sportspersons. It uses tech to remove the sports industry's asymmetry and carries the vision to 'Empower Sports Stars Of Tomorrow'. Through SportsApp, budding sportspersons can access and leverage the entire sporting eco-system including physiotherapists, coaches, sponsors, nutritionists and other resources.
Interestingly, the Government of India has recently brought renewed focus on sports as an integral topic for the youth of the nation. The team sought the insights from Shashank on the future of this Digital Community for Sports Industry and what makes it so relevant in the current times -
"Sporting ecosystem has 4 Ps that make it ripe for a tech-centric disruption— Patronage, Providence, Potential, and the Platform. Presently, there is a huge asymmetry of patronage from brands where 90%+ endorsements and sponsorship go to only top 5-6 stars, usually from the cricket. Indian Govt's recent decision to bring 'Sports' into the curriculum from extra-curricular activities besides other initiatives such as 'Khelo India' is already helping build a solid and favorable ground.
The emergence of sports as a sustainable career due to fan-friendly leagues is also playing a decisive part in improving the overall potential of the industry. Above all, there is a lack of relevant content on a dedicated platform making the sportspersons dependent on personal coaching. In short, there is a wide window of opportunity valuing a whopping $900Mn that remains untapped - SportsApp fits perfectly in this segment to fill the gaps, by becoming the perfect aggregator for India's sports ecosystem."
'Content' is the biggest driver of their business that moves both 'Community' and 'Commerce' and enable learning. The key USP of the SportsApp lies in its algorithm that rates an individual player and throws up their rating/value. This value is then pitched to brands to sell sponsorship. The market ranking helps athletes realize their potential pretty early at the onset of their career, thus removing the probability of exploitation in the name of endorsements and sponsorship, which is quite rampant, otherwise.
Shashank further adds: "Having tested the algorithm, the business model, the product-market fit, our initial success in getting both users and sponsorships is giving us the confidence to scale further. Some of our user athletes are already playing at India Juniors, or are winners at 'Khelo India School (KIYG), KIUG, Commonwealth Games, Olympics and Indian National Teams. "
SportsApp has set its eyes on capturing 60% of the market share in the coming 5 Years.
The Community platform also provides regular updates on sports events of your sports, besides sending alerts on sports jobs available within the industry. Several veterans and existing sports personalities and coaches also form an integral part of SportsApp. You may join the community and follow your fellow/senior athletes, coaches, academies, and federations to stay updated with their latest feeds or directly reach out to them via an inbuilt messaging feature on the App for any support required.
To know more about this innovative venture and be part of it, you may visit their portal download the app directly from the Android Playstore or connect with their social media handles on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.