Barcelona seek money to launch tech investment fund

11 March 2019

Photo: Getty Images FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu look to establish a startup investment fund.

Spanish giants looking to establish a startup investment fund.

Barcelona will not contribute with capital, but seek £86 million from investors.

Christian Fomsgaard Jensen

Barcelona are searching for investors to put money into an investment fund targeting sport technology startups. According to Spanish news service Paco23 the club itself will not contribute with funding, but will provide expertise from its staff on which products and services have the potential to survive in the market.

The Spanish giants, registering £593 million in revenue last season, have been exploring the project for two years, hoping it will be a testbed for new technologies, wrote the media.

The search for the right partners has yet to begin, but the club are looking to raise £86 million. Barcelona FC want the new entity to operate as an independent subsidiary and so far it has not been decided where the fund will be located, Paco23 reported, citing unnamed sources.

Familiar with new technology

In 2017, Barcelona established Barca Innovation Hub, where incubators are developing technologies that could possibly shape football in the future with the Spanish club trialing the new ideas.

Two years ago, the club said it believed there was "no greater and more powerful high-performance sports laboratory in the world than the Camp Nou or the Sports City Joan Gamper”. Barcelona is now hoping an investment fund will fuel the work being developed at the Innovation Hub.

As an example, Barca helped Spanish company Real Track find investors after perfecting their training vests, which collect 20,000 pieces of data per second from each player.

Barcelona are not the only club in the market for investment in sporting technologies. The City Football Group, owner of Manchester City, became the anchor investor in Sapphire Sport earlier this year – a venture capital fund launched by Sapphire Ventures. In 2018 the Bundesliga launched the DFL for Equity to invest in small technology businesses.