Pitchero, a U.K. startup that makes it easy for amateur and grassroots sports clubs to build a web presence and move its community online, has scored £3.1 million in Series A funding. ICM, a global fund manager with numerous other sporting interests including Harlequins Rugby Club, led the round.
Founded all the way back in 2007, Pitchero originally launched to answer the needs of amateur and grassroots teams who lacked a digital platform to organise and grow their community. Today the company services more than 70,000 sports teams, claiming over 1 million active users across football, rugby, hockey and cricket.
“We wanted to connect players, parents and coaches together on one platform making communication and organisation easier,” Pitchero co-founder and CEO Mark Fletcher tells me. “We soon found providing each club with a website, creating small online communities for each club, then connecting each club website via fixtures and league tables was the way to go”.
To that end, the Pitchero platform provides tools to create a website, manage membership, collect payments, organise teams, communicate, upload videos and photos, and attract new players, parents and coaches. “We are trying to be the one-stop-solution for all the digital requirements of a grassroots sports club,” says Fletcher.
Ten years on, Pitchero claims that its platform is used in the U.K. by 30-40 per cent of grassroots football and over 70 per cent of rugby. It is also seeing over 30 per cent of cricket, hockey and rugby league.
Meanwhile, I’m told that the new funding will be used to focus primarily on the growth of global grassroots soccer, including pushing its recently launched video product Pitchero Play. This sees it sell a full hardware and software kit to record and push match highlights to both the Pitchero platform and external social media.
It has also signed a broadcast arrangement for non-league football, after agreeing a deal to film all future matches in the Northern Premier League.