Top 13 Sports Start-Ups to Watch in 2021

TechRound is delighted to announce it’s Top Sports Startups to Watch in 2021!

As the world continues to return to some form of normality, people are able to play, watch and participate in any way they can in the sports that they love again. This list features Startups that promote all different types of sports that are going above and beyond in order to facilitate that enjoyment.

From video cameras to infrared clothing, the sports technology world is constantly adapting and developing, the best are featured here in this top 10 list. Full of innovative companies, this list features the top 13 sports startups to watch in the coming year as their apps or technology become more popular.

 

To be featured in this list, the startup must:

  • Be focused primarily on Sports (of any kind).
  • Be innovative and original whilst staying true to its clients.
  • Have found a niche in the Sports market.
  • Offer a quality product which is beneficial to its customers.

 

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Counting down from 13 to 1, explore TechRound’s Top 13 Sports Start-Ups to watch in 2021 below: 

13. VAHA

vaha-smart-fitness-mirror

Website: https://uk.vaha.com/

Founder(s): Valerie Bures-Bönström

VAHA is the interactive home mirror that delivers fully personalised, immersive sessions for body and mind.

With live and on-demand classes, 1:1 personal training, and other workouts, VAHA will make you want to work out. With the ability to join the VAHA community, meet likeminded members and take part in challenging yet uplifting group classes. You are even able to create profiles for family members so that the whole family can enjoy your mirror.

Take part in Peloton-esque classes with personalised workouts and professional personal trainers. Exercise without having to travel to the gym, VAHA’s sensors capture your movements as you work out allowing their AI to give you instant feedback to help you improve.

VAHA’s exquisite and timeless design means it’ll look great in any space in your home. A new and innovative idea VAHA is definitely a SportsTech startup to watch in the next year as they develop new technology for their mirrors and build a wider community of users.

 

12. WallJam

 

walljam-sports-startup

 

WallJam

Website: http://walljam.com/

Founder(s): Tim Worboys

Walljam is a sports technology business revolutionising ball sports through advanced, proprietary, smart panel technology, mashing physical play with digital technology. Walljam offers a new and exciting way for leisure operators, venues, rights holders and sponsors to engage with their fan or customer base.

Walljam has interactive walls which can be moulded into whatever suits you and your business best. Walljam want to motivate, excite and inspire all age groups and ability levels to engage in sport, make sport fun, raise the heartbeat of the player create sporting habits for life.

Walljam offers both wall branding with design bespoke wall fascia as well as digital displays such as leader boards and booking systems which are suited to your band.

Over the past 5 years, Walljam’ have designed and developed hardware and software (including UK and US patents) to work across most mainstream ball sports including Football, Rugby, Tennis, Cricket, Netball, American Football, Basketball, AFL and Baseball.

 

11. Jennis Fitness

jennis-mapping

Website: https://www.jennisfitness.com/

Founder(s): Jess Ennis-Hill and Dr Emma Ross

Designed by Olympic athlete, Jess Ennis-Hill, and Physiologist, Dr Emma Ross, Jennis CycleMapping is the first app to give women both the knowledge and practical tools to take advantage of what’s happening hormonally.

The fitness app is focused towards women and it creates a personalised fitness routine that fits into a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. By taking into account the hormonal changes that take place during a woman’s menstrual cycle Ennis-Hill and Ross have created an app that has opened up conversations allowing women to train in line with their cycles.

This sport femtech brand has recently raised £1 million to help fund its continued progress in the Sportstech world. Only 6% of sport and exercise science research is done exclusively on women and Jess Ennis-Hill is creating groundbreaking Sportstech that will continue throughout 2021 to break through barriers.

 

10. Tappit

 

tappit-sports-startup

tappit-Wristband

 

Website: https://tappit.com/

CEO: Jason Thomas

Tappit is a global payment ecosystem for events, sports stadia and venues.

Tappit provides a unique end-to-end solution including cashless payment, white label payment apps, mobile pay, RFID and event analytics. They help clients build their own data ecosystem via touchless solutions to increase profits and provide a best in class customer experience.

Offering the very first hybrid mobile RFID (usually a wristbrand or a card) product in the market, Tappit provides entry, payment & fan engagement with a custom branded fan app. The app allows visitors to the event control their evening through Tappit, offering registration, top up, transaction monitoring and cash out.

With Tappit, venues have a choice of how to go cashless for every type of site and demographic. Tappit provides in-depth advice and insights through their dashboard to help you make the fan experience incredible and maximise profits. The unique hybrid system enables mobile payment solution for events, allowing fans to pay from inside the event’s or club’s native fan app.

 

9. Veo

 

veo

 

veo-share-your-sport

Website: https://event.veo.co/

Founder(s): Henrik Teisbæk

Veo is the ultimate camera for team sports.

With Veo’s new camera (Veo Cam 2), their livestreaming service through the Veo App or their online Veo Editor, anyone is able to record and live-stream matches automatically and take their game a level up. Veo’s camera and editing tools allow users to analyse matches and training sessions, create highlights, tag your players and give feedback on their performance on the interactive editor.

 

Veo’s camera records with two super sharp 4K lenses that capture the action at a wide 180-degree angle in excellent video quality and their built-in AI also detects critical events like goals, kickoff, corner kicks, and free kicks.

 

Veo has created live-streaming tools such as a clock, a scoreboard and more to show your audience watching in real-time what is happening in the game. With features to make sure that it both does not overheat or be affected by the rain, the Veo cam is the camera to use when wanting to record your matches.

 

The camera, the app and the editor are extremely well-connected with instant opportunities to re-watch old footage and access your recording. With 128GB of data on the camera, there are plenty of opportunities to record and live-stream full matches and training sessions so that you can get the best out of your Veo experience.

 

8. Kymira Sport

 

kymira-sports-startup

kymira-sport-clothes

 

Website: https://www.kymirasport.com/

Founder(s): Tim Brownstone

Kymira Sportswear is one of the more technical start-ups on this list. The mission of  Kymira Sport is to bring cutting edge innovation to the sportswear market.

Kymira Sportswear provides a range of highly advanced technical apparel that incorporates patented Infrared technology across the entire range. The range was created by founder Tim Brownstone after he was injured and wanted to speed up his rehabilitation. He read about how infrared was used to help grow plants quicker in space and applied it to human clothing.

Infrared technology allows your gear to re-generate the energy your body produces and to give that normally lost energy back to the body to radically increase your performance, speed up muscular repair and recovery and to generate warmth when needed.

Kymira’s clothing products enhance performance, accelerate recovery and reduce the chances of an athlete becoming injured, allowing you to push harder, go further and recover quicker.

The company manufactures textiles that use compression fabric that harnesses and recycles athletes’ energy to improve performance, enabling them to achieve more in their performance and recovery. Furthermore, Kymira Sportswear utilises re-cycled fabrics called Infracycle which means that this technologically advanced clothing brand is also great for the planet.

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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7. Imaginactive

 

imaginactive-sports-startuo

 

imaginactive-apocalypse

Website: https://www.imaginactive-fitness.com/

Founder(s): Adele and Rasmus Andersen

 

Imaginactive is a startup intersecting exercise with entertainment to transform workouts into immersive exercise experiences.

The idea of Imaginactive is understanding that not everyone enjoys exercising, but that everyone enjoys being entertained. At Imaginactive they have put the two together. So they have created “exer-tainment” products with zero barrier to entry that can be used anywhere.

Their first “exer-tainment” product is the audio fitness adventure which they have titled “Apocalypse Survival Training.” It is a comedy adventure series in which every episode is a workout. The Apocalypse Survival Training show is a full production  drama that incorporates three different kinds of workout – running, body-weight circuits and yoga – into an ongoing story-line.

Part audio book and part personal trainer, it places the user as the main character in a group of survivors who must survive – and end – an alien invasion of a parallel reality London.

Imaginactive’s mission is to get millions of people who think they ‘don’t like’ exercise not only willingly engaging in it but enjoying, with their heads and their hearts, the physical activity that will improve their lives. They have their own website and app where you can access Apocalypse Survival Training and try it for yourself!

 

6. Unity Metacast

unity-metacast

Website: https://unity.com/sports

Founder(s): Koren Grinshpoon, Ben Pedazur and Alon Grinshpoon

Unity, the world’s leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D (RT3D) content, has just launched Unity Metacast, an innovative new platform that will lead the real-time 3D (RT3D) evolution for professional sports.

Unity Metacast is a RT3D sports platform for creating and delivering interactive content, direct to the consumer. UFC, the leading mixed martial arts organization, and one of the most popular sports brands in the world, is collaborating on research and development of potential applications for Unity Metacast within UFC content.

Unity Metacast is part of Unity’s new Sports & Live Entertainment Division being led by games industry veteran and former Liverpool Football Club CEO, Peter Moore. Peter has more than 30 years of experience in gaming, entertainment, and consumer products. This division’s mission is to redefine the way the world interacts with sports & live entertainment.

 

5. Find A Player

findaplayer-sports-startup

Website: https://www.findaplayer.com/

Founder(s): Jim Law

Based in Glasgow, Find A Player is an app for finding players for sports, games and events.

Find a Player is the UK’s biggest sports participation network and their platform delivers 2 key functions.

1. We connect players, teams, games and facilities on a local basis.
2. We simplify and automate weekly game organisation, reducing admin time by over 90% (from 2-3 hours per week to under 10 minutes).

Your admin is done in five minutes, you stick in your game details, add your players & let Find A Player’s system take care of rest. Find A Player allows you to build your sports network as they’ll connect you directly to your friends & other local, available sports people.

Through the app you are able to keep a track of everyone’s skill, fitness & reliability. This allows Find A Player to accurately match games and players.

Find A Player makes finding, organising and playing sport as simple as ordering a cab or a takeaway. The app has already won some prestigious awards including:
  • Winner – Puma ‘Innovation in Football’ Global Competition.

  • Winner – Best App – Yahoo SportsTech Startup Awards

  • Winner – Best Sports Startup UK – KPMG SportsTech World Series

  • Winner – Best App – UK Sports Technology Awards (beating Arsenal, British Rowing, the NY Marathon and German FA in the final).

 

4. SportsMatcher

 

Website: https://www.sportsmatcher.co.uk/

Founder(s): Phil Day and Steve Day

 

SportsMatcher is the casual team sport organising engine powering the best experiences for players, organisers, and venues from pre-match, to in-match, and post-match via dedicated apps for each team sport.

SportsMatcher’s first product FootballMatcher is a football-loving organising app that slots into the channel you love and ensures organisers are never out of pocket, all without requiring the players to download yet another mobile app.

Players can also be matched to games by entering their location, how far they are prepared to travel, and when they are available to play. Players can also state what type of game they would like to be part of, such as, whether it’s a casual kickaround or a competitive match.

SportsMatcher goes beyond creating on-demand football, by creating a community around a game where the same group play each week. These new social connections have become more important than ever as more people are isolated through having to work from home and the resulting adverse mental health effects.

SportsMatcher teams with schools, companies and organisations to help them unlock the physical and mental health benefits of team sport by starting games organised by our platform.

Working with key tracking hardware partners and leveraging in-house machine vision algorithms in R&D, they are confident that in the future they can install a player tracking system at pitchside which would be affordable for any venue size.

Their vision is to become the Strava of Team Sport with every player, group, team and club having their own profile with professional football analytics driving engagement and encouraging everyone to play more. Built into the core of the platform, SportsMatcher wants to start and scheduling games/competitions to be effortless removing the need for an organiser, so no one individual has to risk losing money or spend time organising.

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3. Airofit PRO

 

Airofit PRO is the world’s first smart respiratory trainer with app connectivity, which helps its users:

  • improve their breathing;

  • elevate their performance;

  • boost overall well-being.

Despite unprecedented global challenges in 2020-2021, Airofit outpaced many trends seen elsewhere in the start-up industry, as the Airofit Pro drastically increased volumes, resulting in new users of our device and significant expansion of our expertise in the world of breathing.

Recently Airofit introduced massive update of our Airofit PRO training app and launched a Premium Subscription model which gave the users even more benefits, such as:

  • significant elevation of sports performance with the focus on different disciplines: running, cycling, crossfit, football, etc;

  • access to the Advanced Statistics to keep track the vital health measurements;

  • improvement of users sleep pattern, ease of stress, etc..

Airofit is cooperating with the best thought leaders in the world of breathing as well as have access to the respiratory training data of more than 30K+ athletes, who previously used Airofit, to make sure that we deliver to our customers the top-notch training experience, baked by science and expertise.

 

2. Spond

 

 

spond-app

Website: https://spond.com/

Founder(s): Per-Otto Wold

 

In second place on our list is award winning sports tech startup, Spond, which launched in the UK in 2018.

Spond is a free organising app, helping sports teams across Europe, at many levels from semi-professional to school teams, to organise, communicate and participate in sport. In essence, Spond helps managers, coaches, players, and parents / guardians to organise their sport. Be it coaches informing their team of the kickoff time, parents organising where, when and who to drop off at various sporting events each weekend and players to remain in touch with their team.

Spond, based in Oslo, now averages over one million monthly active users and aims to ease the lives of players, volunteers, parents and coaches in a variety of sport and leisure activities. Clubs can also choose to process payments via the app, making registration, fees, and fines easier to process for club managers and administrators.

 

1. Lupa

 

Lupa

lupa-sports

 

Website: https://www.wearelupa.com/
Founder(s): Sergi Porta & Stefano Lorini

 

And… in top spot for sports start-ups to watch in 2021 is Lupa. 

Lupa is run by a London HQ’d team of runners, meditators, and start-up enthusiasts from the UK, Ireland, Catalonia and Italy. Created because existing running apps were too generic and had no personalisation for users. Lupa has created something that uses a higher level of technology to give users the feel of running beside a personal running coach or partner.

The Lupa team launched to the app stores in May of this year. The app is a virtual running partner that helps to guide & motivate you through your earphones, helping to make every run different, even if the route is the same. It combines a human-like coaching experience with mindfulness and advanced running technology to guide runners in real-time with personalised content.

There’s performance sessions and courses to aim for PBs or certain distances, there’s the option to free run and just be paced at a target time, or there’s mindfulness runs and walks like body scans, reflections and breathwork if people want to get some Headspace.

Across all experiences there are mindfulness and breathing cues for runners. Lupa uses careful language to tap into user’s intrinsic motivation rather than shout at them!

Lupa’s technology uses GPS triggers and machine learning to give real time audio feedback and insights for runners to guide and pace them on their run. This separates them from other audio guided running apps that are timed based and play like a podcast, with the guidance remaining the same whether you are lying in bed or running a personal best.

Soon, Lupa hopes to have features to give users the ability to create their own experiences and courses in real time, be directed through new running routes, and hear about city sights as they run by them.

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

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