Sports Tech Investments Continue to Surge

    • Investments in sports tech startups have surged since 2020.
    • Sports tech startups took in $1.4 billion last year and $787 million so far in 2021.

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Sports tech venture capital funding rocketed to $1.4 billion last year, according to Crunchbase. This year’s sum —  $787 million through early August — is already higher than any year from 2017-2019.

The sports tech sector is estimated to reach $30 billion by 2024.

In May, Chicago-based KB Partners raised $64 million for a sports tech investment fund, with an eventual target of $100 million.

KB, which also invested in 16 sports tech startups through a separate $41 million fund launched in 2018, is just one of many sports tech investment funds and incubator programs that have sprung up in recent years.

  • In 2019, investment firm Sapphire launched Sapphire Sport with a $115 million round led by Manchester City owner City Football Group. The fund’s investments include Tonal, Overtime, and Buzzer.
  • Last year, Comcast launched a sports tech incubator, providing $50,000 and around $1.7 million in Amazon web credits and other infrastructure assets to each startup.
  • In March, leAD and InStudio Ventures partnered to create incubator The Draft with initial funding of $5 million. leAD also partnered with OurCrowd in 2018 to launch the ADvantage fund following a $50 million raise.

The profile of tech startup investors has shifted, with more hedge funds, mutual funds, pensions, and sovereign wealth funds getting in on the action.