Overview of the Israeli SportsTech landscape

Start-Up Nation performing strong yet again

Israel, a country with a population under 10 million people, has impressed us in the past with its economic performance and the incredible number of successful high-tech startups it produced. And it seems like the Start-Up Nation continues that success story also in the world of sports. To give you a few examples: Minute Media, the global & digital sports media company, who runs 90min and other platforms, was founded in Israel in 2012 and has collected more than $75M in venture capital. Intel acquired the Israeli 3D video tech company Replay Technologies for $175M in 2016, PlaySight Interactive recently extended their Series C round to $21M (involving Softbank Ventures), LifeBEAM’s Vi received more than $20M in funding and both WSC Sports and Pixellot collected over than $10M in funding. And vBrand, an artificial intelligence sponsoring solution, was acquired by Nielsen Sports in 2017.

The Israeli startup scene shows high engineering skills, strong video capture and data storage capabilities and excellence in production and broadcasting. And the sports ecosystem is growing, with initiatives like the recently announced $50M ADvantage Sports Fund by OurCrowd and leAD Sportsor the projects of Homerun VC, HYPE Sports Innovation and Colosseum.

In our research we screened more than 100 Israeli SportsTech companies, which is a very high amount for a country of this size, and were very impressed by the quality and level of innovation. So we wouldn’t be suprised to hear about more significant funding rounds in the upcoming months!

The four sectors of SportsTech

Here’s a brief description of how we 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.

Here are some exciting Sports Tech companies emerging from Israel that we want to highlight.

BYOND: Byond provides a fast, easy, and intuitive web-based VR publishing platform, empowering brands, media companies and businesses to create their own interactive experiences in Virtual Reality for their users.

Econet: Eco-Net is providing state-of-the-art products that empower the sports fishing experience such as the Eco-Popper, the world’s first digital fishing popper.

Konnecto: Konnecto enables brands to transparently collect and analyze customer’s past and present interactions at every touch-point.

Fitness22: The most effective fitness community in the world with app that help with aerobic conditioning, strength training & sleep and also includes training programs that combine multiple apps into a lifestyle based workout.

fitto: Open platform that allows supplement brands to join the new age of cloud connected nutrition by repackaging their materials with trackable pods.

Moonrun: Shaping the next generation of aerobic experiences, fusing a portable plug-n-play running device with an endless multimedia platform straight into the living room.

Pico: A SaaS platform that helps sports teams build 1-on-1 fan relationships by making it easy to communicate with fans on the social channels they prefer.

Quarterback: Evolving the way eSports enthusiasts interact with each other by creating a new language of engagement, where eSports talents and streamers become an integral part of their fans gameplay.

RideOn: The first true augmented reality goggles for skiing and snowboarding.

Distribution within the country

City distribution: It’s not surprising that Tel Aviv is clearly dominating the Israeli SportsTech market with being home to 56% of the companies we’ve screened. If you add the other cities of the Gush Dan region, like Petah Tikva or Ramat Gan, the numbers are even more impressive. This is clearly the heart of Israeli SportsTech.

Sector distribution: “Activity & Performance” and “Media & Fans” are the dominant sectors in the Israeli SportsTech market, accounting for a combined 73% of the total. From a sub-sector perspective “Wearables & Equipment” is clearly in the lead with 28% of all companies in the market, which is much higher than in the other landscape overviews we’ve done so far. It once again shows the great engineering skills in Israel.

More data coming up

I’m constantly publishing insights from the international SportsTech ecosystem and also run a podcast about SportsTech startups and the initiatives surrounding them. So stay tuned and feel free to connect!

Benjamin Penkert is the Founder of SportsTechX and Head of Consulting at leAD Sports in Berlin. You can get in touch via Linkedin, Twitter or email.

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