Former Reebok, Adidas Execs Partner With Israeli Sports Accelerator to Launch $75 Million Sport Tech Fund
CTech – Uli Becker, former president of Reebok, and Bernd Wahler, former chief marketing officer for Adidas and former president of German sports club VfB Stuttgart, have partnered with Israeli-born venture capitalist Amir Raveh to launch HYPE Capital, a $75 million fund dedicated to sport tech startup. HYPE Sports Innovation, an Israel and UK-based sport tech accelerator network headed by Raveh, announced the new fund on Tuesday.
Founded in 2015, HYPE operates 12 accelerators worldwide. Each accelerator focuses on a single industry vertical, such as blockchain and audience engagement. 140 companies have graduated from HYPE’s four-month program to date, Raveh said in a phone interview with Calcalist Wednesday.
HYPE Capital will focus on companies developing technologies in the fields of broadcast, e-sports, smart stadiums, audience engagement, gambling, and achievement analysis, Raveh said. HYPE Capital is in the process of making its first three investments, one of them in an Israeli company, he said.
“Millennials and Generation Zs are streaming sports events on their phones in huge numbers,” Wahler, who acts as chairman of the board for HYPE said in a statement. “This radical demographic shift in viewing distribution is transforming the entire industry, with online shopping now established as the underlying foundation of sports retail,” he added.