A society soccer startup? Appito raises BRL 27 million
Iporanga, Global Founders Capital and Inteligo Bank participate in the round; Marcelo Claure and Paulo Passoni were angel investors
Frenchmen Rodolphe Timsit and Alexandre Delepau landed in the most victorious country in the history of world football thanks to the work and grace of the financial market, working for investment banks such as JP Morgan and BNP Paribas, but the duo wants to be known in Brazil for another feat.
Owners of a Portuguese with an accent barely perceptible to an unsuspecting person, the two want to change the relationship of Brazilians with amateur football through technology. Ahead of Appito, a startup that started with a society soccer arena, the duo has just announced a fundraising round.
For an apparently traditional business, the investment draws attention. Timsit and Delepau raised R$27 million for Appito, attracting investment from the Iporanga, Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Inteligo Bank funds.
The first two funds had already bet on the business in the pre-seed and seed phases, when the startup raised R$ 12 million in rounds that included the participation of angels such as Paulo Passoni and Marcelo Claure, both former Softbank.
Since its foundation, therefore, Appito has raised BRL 39 million, but the latest round represents a turning point in the startup’s game. Equipped with two society fields, the first arena began to be built in the São Paulo neighborhood of Vila Leopoldina in 2019, but it was only ready shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic…
Appito’s indoor soccer arena in Vila Leopoldina — Photo: Disclosure
“Our first arena was closed for six months, then it opened for three months and then it closed again for three,” says Delepau. Definitely, the pandemic played on Appito’s counter foot. But the reopening of the economy also brought the good old society football back, filling the schedules in the startup arena and reinvigorating the spirits of the founders.
With more than 90% of the times filled – each group of players pays R$ 1,500 monthly to play once a week for an hour and a half, Appito resumed its expansion plans, which include investments in technology and the creation of new new arenas.
But in times of lean cows in the field of startups, expansion will be done with more caution. If initially the startup planned to build five or six new arenas, the idea is now to build just two. “Our focus is payback,” says Delepau. The founder’s expectation is that the investment will pay off in up to two years.
In Appito’s society football, the idea is to combine the high service of the offline experience – which includes the supply of sports equipment (vests, ball and boots) from Adidas and a partnership with Ambev for the sale of drinks in the space – with a application that helps customers to have a gamified experience, which offers the possibility to score games and make player rankings.
The startup also wants to put the scout at the service of amateur football, another way of using technology to attract football fans. With cameras that use computer vision, Appito wants to analyze player data, including statistics on shots on goal, assists and distance covered, among others.
The ball is with the French.
Source: Value Pipeline