Dutch sports tech startup Mingle Sport raises €1.75m for grassroots ball sports app
The Dutch sports tech startup Mingle Sport has raised €1.75 million in seed capital to fund the further development of its app for grassroots ball sports. This comes on top of an earlier round of €1.5 million and makes the 26-strong Mingle team one of the bigger sports tech startups to raise so much money in such an early phase. Even more remarkable is that the app for football and padel, among other sports, has not yet been launched, and even when it does it will initially only be available to a limited number of users.
The sports tech market is hot
Last year, more than 12 billion was invested in sports tech worldwide, a growth of more than 400% . Compared to the US, Europe is lagging behind. “Developing modern sports tech requires substantial investments. This is understood in America, but in Europe, investments for the early phases are still relatively small. That is why we focus on investors on both sides of the Atlantic. Currently we have investors from the Netherlands, Denmark, France, US and Canada,” says Freek Bijl, co-Founder and CEO of Mingle Sport.
The majority of global investment goes into professional sports, gambling and fan engagement. “Professional ball sports are way ahead in the field of sports tech. Cameras are everywhere and every athlete wears special sensors these days. However, amateur ball sports are rarely 'captured'--neither the performance nor the experience is digitally recorded,” says Bijl. “Yet, there is no shortage of advanced cameras alongside amateur fields, courts and grounds. The problem is that most people keep their smartphone in their pocket.”
Mobile and AI make sports tech accessible to the masses
Mingle Sport uses technology in smartphones, computer vision (using computers to extract meaningful information from images) and AI to transform this situation. “You can use our app to create great match reports, chat with your team and build your own profile with statistics,” says Bijl. , adding that the app is for all ball sports, with the initial focus on football (soccer), tennis, padel and basketball. “We're making an app for the Fortnite and TikTok generation, so we're using AI to make cool videos and better stats. Our mission is to help more people enjoy ball sports.”
“We want to become the Strava for ball sports. If a match or training isn’t on Mingle, it didn’t happen.” Nicky Rog – CMO and Co-Founder Mingle Sport
A bold startup approach
Mingle Sport has been around for over a year, already employs 26 people and has yet to launch a product. However, the app will be available soon to a select number of users. Bijl explains: “We have consciously chosen to roll out the app within a select number of clubs first. Making an advanced app for the masses takes time and requires attention to things like privacy by design and high video quality.”
About Mingle Sport
Mingle Sport is a sports tech startup founded in 2021. The founding team is a mix of designers, engineers and business specialists. Mingle employs more than 26 people representing 10 different nationalities. The Mingle Sport app will be available for various ball sports, including football, tennis, padel and basketball. The app will soon be available to a select number of users. To try to secure early access, users can register on the waiting list on Mingle.Sport.