The European Startup Ecosystem — Sportheca x SportstechX Partnership

On March 25th, we announced on our social media the partnership between Sportheca and SportsTechX, the biggest source of data and insights when it comes to innovation and sportstech. To kick off this partnership, we translated the European SportsTech Report from English to Portuguese, a report that provides an overview of the aspect in the old continent. In blog post, we will bring some highlights of the report from our point of view. You can check the full report here.

The report structure is divided into three sessions:

Facts and figures: in this first section, the investment data of SportsTech in Europe are analyzed, according to countries and sectors.

When we look at the countries that have funded the most SportsTech over the past four years, the UK is the skyrocketing leader, with €476.2 million between 2016 and 2020. Following the UK are Germany, with € 290.9 million invested and France, with € 195.5 million. Considering the ten countries that stand out in this area, it is worth mentioning the Netherlands, that appears for the first time in the ranking. In addition, it is the first time that SportstechX puts Israel within the European scenario instead of Asia, with the country considered a technological power already appearing as a highlight in the ranking.

Source: European SportsTech Report 2021

When analyzing the sectors, activity and performance for athletes, was the one that received the most investment, with 51.3%. Within the segment, there was a balance, with similar investments in the areas of For Activity — Hardware, For Activity — Software and Before / After Activities.

In second place we have the fan and content area, with 31.6%, and management and organization area that closes the study, with 17.1%. When talking about the fan sector, it is possible to observe two highlights in relation to investments: the areas of fantasy sports / betting and content platforms received almost all the investment, following the path of the fan behavior trend, who are more interested in this kind of service. To conclude, the executive sector also proved to be balanced, with a division of investments between organizations and locations and, media and sponsors.

Source: European SportsTech Report 2021

Trends and features: in the second topic, the study investigates the innovation trends in the sports industry, in addition to offering some interviews with entrepreneurs and leaders of startups in Europe.

There are three trends described in the report: demand for video content, the connection between esports and traditional sports and the arrival of a new generation of devices for the fitness market, with mixed reality.

When we talk about demand for video content, the scenario is huge. Over the past year, streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus have grown tremendously, with content about sports such as ‘All or Nothing’ and ‘Sunderland’ Til I die’. However, smaller platforms have also stood out by offering new ways to follow live games, behind the scenes and other stories that the sports can offer. OneFootball, the broadcaster of the German and French championships in Brazil, is an example of this, with more than 85 million users worldwide.

Regarding the union of esports and traditional sports, the most famous case here was Burger King’s, when the company sponsored the English League’s Stevenage shirt with the aim of creating a digital activation campaign built around FIFA. During the campaign, Stevenage was the team most used by fans in the game’s career mode, with more than 25,000 goals shared online wearing the club’s uniform, generating 1.2 billion impressions.

To close the second section, we have the mixed reality trend in the fitness market. Thousands of people purchased products to exercise at home, trying to make this experience more fun. Based on that, the report highlights two initiatives. The first one is FitXR, founded in London in 2016, which uses augmented reality to involve elements of music and dance in the exercise series. The second startup mentioned is JABII, from Denmark, which mixes physical activity with gaming.

Check out FitXR’s product here:

Ecosystem overview: to conclude, the report maps investors, acceleration / incubation programs and other innovation initiatives on the continent.

To name a few examples, we can talk about Hiro Capital and Aser Ventures, two investment funds in London that collaborated to make the city a leader in SportsTech.

Regarging acceleration and incubation programs, Le Tremplin, from Paris, was mentioned, company we had the pleasure to interview for one of our Sportheca To The Point, when we talked about the scenario with Charles Frémont, the director the company which is the first sports Innovation Center in the world. The study also includes some initiatives from clubs, leagues and associations, such as CeltaLab1923, Valencia CF Innovation Hub and UEFA Innovation Hub.

To check this and many other information, download the European SportsTech Report here!



Sportheca was born to encourage the transformation of the sports industry through the production of innovation and technology at scale.

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Sportheca was born to encourage the transformation of the sports industry through the production of innovation and technology at scale.