Overview of the Benelux #sportstech landscape

A region is gaining traction

Biggest news in the last couple of weeks was for sure the $3.6 Series A round secured by Keemotion, a company that was founded in Belgium and developed an automated video technology for sports competition. Investors include the LA Dodgers and David Stern, the former Commissioner of the NBA. Like in other European countries there are various SportsTech related initiatives popping up or already established in the Benelux region, e.g. the SX project in Eindhoven including Sport eXperience, the Digital Sports Education Day in Utrecht, the InnoSport in the Netherlands or the Sport-Up startup community in Ghent. Great foundation for amazing products and services!

I’ve screened over 1000 SportsTech companies in Europe, clustered them and put them into one big database. I started to share my insights with overviews of the Nordic, the German, the French and the UK SportsTech landscapes, now it’s time for the Benelux one. Other countries and regions will follow.

The four sectors of SportsTech

Here’s a brief description of how I divided the SportsTech landscape.

Activity & Performance: Solutions surrounding the actual performance, no matter if it’s before, during or after the activity. Typical offerings are data tracker, wearables and new kinds of sports equipment.

Management & Organisation: Solutions that help to manage organisations, venues, leagues and events. Also covers platforms to find other sportsmen, coaches, etc. and to buy products and services, such as tickets or trips.

Media & Fans: Solutions that provide sports interested people and companies with all kinds of content and data. Also includes social platforms that help with branding and connecting fans with athletes, teams, etc.

Games & Bets: Companies that provide eSports, Fantasy Sports and Betting solutions, for players & gamers and as a service.

Note: Some companies cover two or even more sectors/subsectors. For the purpose of this overview they had to be assigned to only one.

The Benelux SportsTech landscape

Some very interesting SportsTech companies have their home in the Benelux region. Here are a few exciting ones I want to highlight.

Beyond Sports: Builds Virtual Reality simulations of real sport matches, based on real match data.

BimBimBikes: The first online platform for bike rental companies, allowing users to book and pay for bicycles anywhere and anytime.

Dashtag: Brings FIFA game-like stats to every soccer player via chat bot and soccer-designed wearable.

Inertia: Development of miniaturized wireless devices that can sense, process and communicate motion, vibration and orientation features.

Johan Sports: Motion sensors for performance tracking and analysis of players in field sports.

Keemotion: The automated production solution connecting the arena for teams, leagues, and fans.

Metrica Sports: Team performance improvement through data and video analysis applications.

OneFit: One Membership for unlimited access to hundreds of gyms and studios.

SciSports: Makes scientific progress accessible and available for any professional football organization.

You think I’ve missed a company? Reach me via LinkedIn, Twitter or mail.

Distribution within the country

Country distribution: It’s not a surprise that most of the companies are located in the most populated of the Benelux countries, the Netherlands. They are home for more than half of the respective SportsTech market. Amsterdam is the city with the most companies, even though the overall share is relatively low with 17%. Other cities like Brussels, Ghent, Eindhoven and Rotterdam are not far behind.

Sector distribution: Similar to the German and French market “Management and Organisation” is the biggest sector in the market, followed by a strong “Activity & Performance” sector. From a subsector perspective “Teams & Clubs” and “Marketplaces & Discovery” are in front, followed by “Wearables & Equipment”.

Approx. 31% of the SportsTech companies in the Benelux region have been founded in the last 2.5 years, which is clearly higher than the European average of 25%.

Interested in more data & insights? Reach me via LinkedIn, Twitter or mail.

More data coming up

I’m going to publish overviews for other countries and regions throughout the next weeks and months. Make sure you follow me here on Medium and sign up to my newsletter to get the latest insights.

Special thanks go to Kristof de Mey for helping with the Belgian companies and Luuk Janssen for helping with the Dutch companies.

Benjamin Penkert is Head of Business Development & Events at the Swedish startup accelerator Fast Track Malmö and Founder of SportsTechX, an organisation that connects SportsTech startups with investors and the sports industry. You can get in touch via LinkedIn, Twitter or mail.

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