7 Major Sport-Tech Acquisitions during COVID19

While we were in lockdown, Google, Lululemon, Nike and others were actively acquiring Sports Tech companies (paying over $8B). How will this impact the Sports Universe in 2021?

7 Major Sport-Tech Acquisitions during COVID19

Who will be our next Unicorn?

While we were in lockdown, Google, Lululemon, Nike and others were actively acquiring Sports Tech companies (paying over $8B). How will this impact the Sports Universe in 2021?

Welcome to 2021, the year we all hope will be remembered as the year we take our masks off and get back on the fields supporting our favorite sport’s teams. Based on our research we believe that this year and the years to come will also be remembered for extraordinary growth and investment opportunities in the sports-tech industry and the various group industries included in it and here’s why. Giant Tech and Sport’s companies have already been preparing for the day after Covid-19.

Companies like Google, Nike, Hudl, DraftKings, and other leading companies have completed strategic acquisitions reaching Startup’s from various areas such as Fitness, Esports, Sports Betting, Broadcasting, and Sports analytics. Like many other industries, the Sports-Tech industry has been forced to jump a few years ahead and leave us curious and excited for the major investment opportunities waiting ahead. If you are like us, seeking for the next Unicorn in the sports-tech industry, then take a close look and study these next valuable acquisitions. 

Trust us, the stories and innovative technologies here are game-changers.

1. Fitbit Acquired By Google

DescriptionFitbit offers compact, wireless, wearable sensors that track a person’s daily activities to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Founded Date01-05-2007
Acquisition Date01-11-2019
Purchased Price2,100,000,000.00 USD
Headquarters LocationSan Francisco, California, United States
Websitehttp://www.fitbit.com

Why is Google entering the Fit-Tech industry?

The Fit-Tech industry is experiencing exponential growth forcing big companies to compete over the rising startups in the field. Companies like Peloton, Mirror, Whoop, Future, and Fitbit, all founded in the last 10 years, are evidence that the Fit-Tech market is the next big thing and companies like Google want a piece of the low-calorie cake. Google taking over Fitbit had been rumoured for a few years back, but who thought the deal would finally go through, after a long period that included a lengthy legal process and privacy promises, Google eventually acquired Fitbit and marked it’s entry as a new challenge for Apple’s smart “Apple watch” and its fitness features.

Fitbit CEO James Park is positive about the innovation getting faster with more choices and even better products through this acquisition. With Nasa recently providing 1,000 of its employees, including 150 astronauts with Fitbit devices in a pilot program, who knows, this acquisition might land on the moon.

2. Mirror Acquired By Lululemon

DescriptionMirror is a connected fitness system that streams live and on-demand classes to users in-home through a sleek, responsive display.
Founded Date01-01-2016
Announced Date29-06-2020
Purchased Price500,000,000.00 USD 
Headquarters LocationNew York, New York, United States
Websitehttps://www.mirror.co

Is smart home technology the future of retailing?

Lululemon’s acquisition of Mirror, is a next-level retailing innovation at its finest, and we couldn’t agree more. Marking Lululemon’s first ever acquisition and it is already checking all the right boxes of wise retailing: Memorable, shareable, repeatable, and a great UX.

Lululemon, known for their pricey yoga pants, sees Mirror, the home-fitness startup that sells a $1,500 tech-enabled mirror with a camera and speakers so customers can participate in live fitness classes at home as a way to grow revenue while also providing another avenue to market its products.

Within an unknown future, while most retailers are just trying to survive and to figure out how to open outdated business models with masks, plexiglass, and perfunctory safety procedures. 

Lululemon is rowing against the stream and investing $500 million in a concept that helps them answer an important question for the future: “What if the way we see stores today will never exist again?”

3. FanDuel Acquired By Flutter Entertainment

DescriptionFanDuel offers fantasy sports with daily games for real money.
Founded Date01-01-2007
Announced Date12-03-2020
Purchased Price4,180,000,000.00 USD
Headquarters LocationNew York, New York, United States
Websitehttp://www.fanduel.com

The Irish place their Bet on the U.S. Market with a $4.2 Billion FanDuel Deal.

The ownership of fantasy sports and sports betting giant FanDuel is now in the hand of Irish bookmaking holding company Flutter Entertainment (PaddyPower, Betfair), FanDuel will serve as the primary operating brand and hence targeting the betting opportunity in sports.

When the Irish bookmaker bought the position from the owner Fastball Holdings, the parent company of FanDuel, the acquisition lifted the ownership of Flutter Entertainment from 57.8 percent to 95 percent.

With the acquisition of FanDuel by Flutter Entertainment, Flutter now has the advantage of existing brand recognition and an existing user base in the USA. The main motive for acquiring FanDuel was to expand the U.S sports betting business by merging with FanDuel.

With the Sports gambling industry raking $1 billion in revenue during 2020, with 3 huge competitors such as DraftKings, Penn, and FanDuel exploding in the US market and with four of the highest population states in the US: California, Texas, New York, and Florida not legalizing sports betting yet, how much do you think the sports betting industry is going to increase in the next 5 years?

4. TraceMe Acquired By Nike

DescriptionTraceMe puts you on the inside track with your favorite artists, athletes, and entertainers.
Founded Date01-01-2017
Announced Date11-10-2019
Purchased PriceEstimated 150,000,000.00 USD (based on revenue)
Headquarters LocationSeattle, Washington, United States
Websitehttps://www.traceme.com/

A story about an innovative NFL superstar, Jeff Bezos and Nike.

It’s very rare for the athletic sports giant to make an acquisition. But they have recently announced that they have completed the acquisition of Seattle-based sports digital media company TraceMe.

TraceMe was founded by NFL star and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson — who was the executive chairman of the company. Some of the famous investors that put money into TraceMe include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai, Madrona Venture Group and one of the world’s wealthiest men Jeff Bezos.

TraceMe started out as an app where users can connect with sports stars and celebrities. However, the company had a hard time differentiating from the major social media platforms. So the business model shifted to a platform where sports teams, broadcasters, and fans can engage with each other around sporting events.

Nike in a statement about the deal said “NIKE, Inc. has acquired TraceMe to supplement the company’s content strategy on Nike-owned platforms,”.

In this age of social media influencers playing a massive role in shifting consumer sentiment, this could give Nike a shot at building its own media platform, independent of these, on its own terms.

5. SBTech Acquired By DraftKings

DescriptionSBTech is a leading provider of interactive Sports Betting solutions.
Founded Date01-01-2007
Announced Date23-12-2019
Purchased Price634,100,000.00 USD
Headquarters LocationDouglas, NA – Isle of Man, Isle of Man
Websitehttps://www.sbtech.com/

The winning bet, what made draftkings finally become a public company. 

Sports betting leader DraftKings has been cleared to become a public company following approval of a merger with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition.

The public acquisition headed by industry veterans Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, valued at an estimated $2.7 billion will create what’s described as the only vertically integrated U.S. sports betting and online gaming company.

Upon conclusion of the deal, the new DraftKings became a publicly-traded company under the new symbol of “DKNG” incorporated in Nevada. The new company will have more than $500 million of unrestricted cash to ensure access to capital to fuel growth.

Intending to turn one of the firm’s largest overheads into the international profit center, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins definitely has a focused goal in mind. The long-term ambition of being a leader in US gaming is still at the priority for DraftKings. 

With this new acquisition, DraftKings will be a leading player in the betting market despite the high competition. This acquisition might be one of the biggest and best bets from DraftKings.

6. Motionsoft Acquired By Daxko

DescriptionMotionsoft provides fitness, gym, and recreation club management and marketing software solutions.
Founded Date01-01-2004
Announced Date19-08-2020
Purchased PriceEstimated 150,000,000.00 USD (based on revenue)
Headquarters LocationRockville, Maryland, United States
Websitehttp://www.motionsoft.net

Daxho is going all-in the fit-tech market. 

Motionsoft, the member management software company, will be the feather in the crown of Daxko, which has 9 other acquisitions in the fitness market in the last 5 years. 

Daxko CEO, Ron Lamb clearly stated how this acquisition would leverage the shared experience, passion, and commitment to empowering the company that will better serve health, wellness, and fitness centers thriving in evolving landscapes.

Daxko will immediately begin preserving, elevating, and integrating the Motionsoft platforms to help club owners and operators reach their full potential in a rapidly evolving landscape.

With the gym’s starting to get back on track, we are keen to see the growth predicted for Daxho, one of the Fit-tech leaders, in the following years to come.

7. Thuuz Sports Acquired By Stats Perform

DescriptionThuuz sells a revolutionary Personalized Sports Entertainment platform enabling the Ultimate Sports Guide and Automated Highlight Reels
Founded Date09-11-2010
Announced Date01-12-2020
Purchased PriceEstimated 60,000,000.00 USD (based on revenue)
Headquarters LocationPalo Alto, California, United States
Websitehttp://www.Thuuz.com

Palo-alto startup is joining the sports-tech AI map.

Stats Platform, The SportsTech leader in AI technology and data, is clearly excited to announce their last acquisition of Thuuz sports, a platform for creating automated video highlights and real-time excitement alerts.

The patented technology in the SmartReels and SmartRatings products will be incorporated into Stats Perform’s robust product portfolio to generate new opportunities for media, technology, and betting customers.

AI-powered SmartReels and SmartRatings will boost customer engagement whether they are watching a game live or not. Pairing these products with Stats Perform’s rich data and extensive customer base across media, technology and betting, clients will be able to serve up dynamic viewing experiences for fans that personalize the way they consume sports.

Generating new ideas and opportunities for media, technology, fantasy solutions, and betting customers are the clear focussed goals of the combination between Stats Platforms and Thuuz Sports.

“Development in Sports-Tech will grow rapidly in the next few years and will have a big impact on the world of pro athletes, sports teams, leagues, coaching staff and fans across the world”

There you have it. 7 companies that are changing the sports world as we know it and were acquired by major players in or looking to enter the sports-tech world. How many other companies do you think will be acquired in the coming years? What major changes to society will they bring along? Do you have any company in mind already? 

For the love for Sports and Innovation, 

Amir Raveh – Founder and President, HYPE Sports Innovation


About Amir:
Amir Raveh, Founder, and President of HYPE Sports Innovation.
HYPE S.I. is currently running GVA 2.0. Sportystech Startup Founder Learn More.

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