The city in which sport never sleeps…
A few weeks ago we kicked off a series of landscape overviews for the United States with an article about the SportsTech scene in California. This time we’re going to have a look at the ecosystem in the State of New York, one of the most exciting environments for Sports and Technology on this planet.
So where to start? Let’s begin with the media side of things. Two of the leading content producers in SportsTech have their headquarters in New York City: SportTechie and Front Office Sports (FOS). Both produce not only relevant online content but also connect people in the real world through events, like with SportTechie’s State of the Industry event, or with FOS’s Huddle Series. When it comes to networking, it’s the New York Ventures Community Sports (NYVC Sports) that stands out, as they are connecting New York City’s vast entrepreneurial, enterprise, and investing communities through a curated network at the intersection of the digital and sports marketplaces. Last, but not least, let’s have a look at the investment initiatives: With Bruin Sports Capital, Courtside Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures, RSE Ventures and White Rock, New York is definitely amongst the best situated cities/states in global SportsTech.
But now it’s time to look at some SportsTech companies.
We have screened companies all around the world and analyzed them according to our SportsTech framework and a variety of other factors. For this specific article, we went through over 200 New York based companies (the State of New York, not just the City) that are listed in our global SportsTech database to make sure they are active and to identify the best ones. Over 130 startups & scaleups made it into the final overview.
Startups & Scaleups
The State of New York has a broad variety of startups and scaleups in all major SportsTech sectors, including a lot of exciting ones that are worth highlighting. To showcase what New York has to offer, we’ll look at the sectors one by one.
Activity & Performance
The sector is dominated by some of the global SportsTech superstars, as Peloton, ClassPass and Flywheel Sports are amongst the top 10 funded companies in North America. Besides that, we see lots of interesting fitness related solutions: WearableX includes tracking solutions into fitness wear, Fitcam uses smartphone cameras and computer vision to analyze workouts and Vi uses AI and real-time tracking to personalize daily challenges. But the most populated sub sector is clearly ‘Preparation,’ especially with tools that help the athlete prepare and exercise the sport they will perform. We saw Peloton-alternatives that come without the hardware and focus just on the classes/content-part, such as Aaptive, CycleCast or Studio. And if you’re old school and still like to go to the gym, there are solutions like Popin or Zeamo that give you access on demand. Lots of options for active people all day, every day!
Management & Organisation
In this sector we have some interesting venue-related solutions, e.g., with high-flying Satisfi Labs bringing AI-powered answers to any physical location, and SeatServe, which makes sure that fans get their food, drinks and merchandise delivered right to their seats so they never have to miss any of the action. A heavy-weight in the B2B area is KORE Software, a global leader in sports and entertainment business management solutions. Their applications help “more than 100 Major League teams and 200 universities worldwide harness valuable customer and partner data.” eSports is also covered with Feature, a solution that lets streamers create gaming tournaments for friends and fans. On the media side of things there are some more really impressing companies: Endeavor Streaming is a global leader in premium video distribution across the entertainment and sports industries (previously acquired NeuLion), Keemotion (now an Atrium Sports Company) is an automated production solution connecting the arena for coaches, leagues and fans, and LiveLike’s live streaming platform allows broadcasters to stream content to their end users under their own brand on mobile and VR.
Fans & Content
This sector is also home to some SportsTech heavy-weights: BAMTECH Media, a spin-off from MLB Advanced Media, is a global leader in delivering direct-to-consumer live and on demand video at scale. It was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 2017 and with $1b the SportsTech company with the most funding on this planet, slightly ahead of Peloton. Then we have FanDuel, one of the world’s leading Fantasy Sports companies and amongst the top 5 most funded SportsTech companies in North America. Other successful companies in the content sector are Whistle Sports, an entertainment brand that creates and distributes video content that is positive, relatable and uplifting, and The Players’ Tribune, a new media company that provides athletes with a platform to connect directly with their fans, in their own words. Also Overtime, a sports network for the next generation of fans, is achieving incredible viewership numbers on their channels. While we don’t find many eSports solutions in New York, it’s Genvid, a broadcasting solution built especially for games, that stands out for us in the local ecosystem.
Want to get more details on these SportsTech companies or explore more from the US or all around the world? Our SportsTech database is the place to visit!
After going down more than 50% in total investment amount from 2016 to 2017, New York SportsTech had a strong year in 2018, with an increase of over 40% to 2017. But to put things a bit into perspective: 2016 was the year when the Walt Disney Company spent $1b on the acquisition of BAMTECH Media. 2018 was led by Peloton’s Series F round of $550m and Series D rounds in ClassPass ($85m) and Whistle Sports ($28m).
The look on the sector distribution of the investments is no surprise. The SportsTech giants Peloton & ClassPass (Activity & Performance) and BAMTECH Media & FanDuel (Fans & Content) dominate the landscape and leave no room for the ‘Management & Organisation’ sector on the funding chart.
Interesting fact: Contrary to the California SportsTech landscape, New York is not in front of the race when it comes to eSports investment. It’s only Genvid who secured significant funding as of now, with $20m in total.
The 5 most funded SportsTech companies in New York
BAMTECH Media ($1b) — A global leader in delivering direct-to-consumer live and on demand video at scale, now a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
Peloton ($995m) — Live and on-demand fitness comes home and recently went public on the Nasdaq (ticker: PTON).
FanDuel ($418m) — FanDuel is the best way to watch the games, win real cash, and bring the action right into the living room.
ClassPass ($255m) — Work out at any gym, try any workout and do it all with one app.
Flywheel Sports ($109m) — Flywheel offers in studio and on-demand indoor cycling, strengthening, and recovery classes.
Appetite for more Venture Capital insights? Then make sure you don’t miss our upcoming Global SportsTech VC Report, a data-driven deep dive on investor activities and funding rounds.
Big in sports
It seems like New York has got it all: investors, events, media outlets, networking opportunities and superstar companies. What else could one wish for? Well, there is no accelerator program (question is if that’s really needed) and also the New York based pro teams are not (yet) known for their involvement in SportsTech, but these are not major points. We currently see the only weakness in eSports, both from a startup and ecosystem perspective.
A few thoughts from a topic angle: New York is definitely bullish on the fitness movement! In no other landscape overview have we seen such a concentration of good and successful solutions. Also with regards to new kinds of media and entertainment companies the region has a very strong footprint. All in all, we can say the same about New York as we did about California (but within an even smaller radius): Definitely one of THE SportsTech hubs of the world.
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