Sportstech startup, AirUpThere raising US$143k via pitchIN for SEA expansion
By Digital News Asia August 25, 2020
- Huddle platform consists of marketplace & management suite for organisers
- Initial focus on 4 main sports in SEA, 2021 expansion to SG, PH & Indonesia
AirUpThere Technologies Sdn Bhd (AirUpThere) today announced that it is set to raise further funds via equity crowdfunding to kick-start its Southeast Asian (SEA) ambitions. The company, founded in 2018, is targetting to raise US$143,000 (RM600,000) with its campaign that has begun accepting funds on pitchIN. It will be allocating 25% for technology improvement, 40% for marketing and 35% towards strengthening its talent pool.
The Huddle Platform consists of two solutions, Huddle Marketplace and Huddle Host. The former is a digital marketplace for all amateur sports enthusiasts in SEA. Whether you are looking for an adult football league to join on the weekend or a parent looking for the best coach in town for your kids, Huddle users simply search, buy, and join from our network of partners and sports organisations.
Huddle Host, the management suite for sports organisers helps simplify administrative and marketing work by publishing to Huddle Marketplace and access an entire region of youth and everyday athletes. With an instant online presence and no programming required, organisers are able to collect payments, collate stats and results easily and immediately share this info with players, coaches, parents.
To date AirUpThere has already signed up 115 sports organisers via Huddle, generating US$115,000 (RM478,000) in revenue.
Andri Khusahry, CEO of AirUpThere says the initial focus is on the four main sports of the region – badminton, basketball, running and football, which comprise 30% of the total participatory sports market in SEA. “These consist of approximately 50 million people as the addressable market. The target for 2021 will be the expansion plans into Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia.”
The app and content are currently focusing on the Malaysian sports scene with livestreams of selected tournaments and leagues, contributor content from leagues, teams and academies, amongst others.
Sports organisers use Huddle as a complete sports programme management tool where they are able to create and manage sports programmes and schedules while athletes join the marketplace that curates and rates sports programmes for athletes and parents. Other features also include sports events ticket sales, team and player profiles also competition management, schedule standings and stats.
Huddle aims to help people of all walks of life play better together with its commitment to community, technology, and continuous improvement on the platform. The digital platform provides access to hundreds of games and tracks the progress of thousands of players across Malaysia and the region. This evolution of sports into the digital age will help ensure the continuation of every day sports for the youth in school programmes as well as adult weekend warriors.
“We use technology to provide access to hundreds of games and track the progress of thousands of players across the region in the palm of your hand. By digitising the community, Huddle unlocks the massive potential of a fragmented Southeast Asian market valued at an estimated US$20 billion,” Andri points out.
Andri notes that, in this era of Covid-19, his Huddle Host management suite can play a vital role to help the sports ecosystem stay afloat by reaching a broader targeted audience, simplifying operations, and incorporating contactless SOPs such as cashless transactions.
Huddle is currently addressing a Malaysian sports market of 10,000 organisers and coaches and 1.9 million athletes (18+) with badminton being the highest addressable market with 1.17 million athletes, 486 organisers and 4,600 coaches throughout the country.
The startup received a US$70,000 (RM300,000) grant in 2018 from Cradle Fund’s CIP300 and successfully achieved its programme deliverables. It was also part of the Structured Coaching Programme conducted by Proficeo Sdn Bhd for Cradle Fund as part of the CIP300 grant.
Andri is thankful with the opportunities, mentorship and guidance the company received from all the programs that helped AirUpThere scale its business while preparing the team for the fund raising exercise. Officially an approved Angel Tax Incentive certified company, AirUpThere is bullish over its fundraising.
“We have always looked at sports as an asset for community building and understand that not everybody will wish to engage in traditional sporting activities. They will journey towards wellbeing in their own way. However, the current trend is to have a community driven platform that engages sports clubs, sports enthusiasts, coaches and athletes all on the same platform. Next to be integrated into Huddle will be our Virtual Coaching platform.”